Many companies host events throughout the year to celebrate the diversity of their staff and express gratitude for employee contributions. Whether in-person or virtual, it’s easy to accidentally exclude individuals or groups from these activities. Keeping diversity and inclusion top of mind during the planning process will ensure that the unique backgrounds of all employees are acknowledged and appreciated.
This guide is designed to help companies navigate celebrations throughout the year with diversity and inclusion at the forefront. As you plan your 2022 activities, consider incorporating the practices below into your company traditions. And if you haven’t yet completed your holiday shopping, or you’re in the market for gifts for upcoming celebrations, consider supporting the local small businesses who are part of our Women’s Business Conference marketplace – and encouraging your employees to do the same. Engaging with these companies is an innovative way to celebrate the diversity of the community in the Dallas Region year-round.
“DOS” AND “DON’TS” OF CELEBRATING
- Ask employees what they would like to see celebrated – This can take the form of an anonymous survey for privacy or a planning group that reflects the diversity of your organization. If you have employee resource groups (ERGs), engage with them to generate ideas.
- Create floating holidays – Because holiday celebrations are personal to the individual, floating holidays allow employees to take time off when needed for any special observances. If this is not an option, ensure that employees and leaders understand the process to request a religious holiday or special observance.
- Decorate inclusively – If you choose to put up decorations in the office, ensure they are inclusive of the cultural heritage of all your employees.
- Survey your staff after each celebration – This allows you to gather feedback on how to improve next year.
- Always plan activities on the exact date of holidays – Holidays, especially religious ones, can be personal, and many employees prefer to celebrate on their own or with their loved ones.
- Prompt employees to educate co-workers about their culture – Education is important in fostering cultural awareness, but that burden should not be placed directly on an employee from an underrepresented group.
- Have limited food options – Many employees have dietary restrictions for health, religious, or other personal reasons. If you’re planning an activity with food, consider asking people about their dietary restrictions in advance or providing a wide variety of meal options.
- Require participation – Keeping participation in activities optional acknowledges those who may feel uncomfortable celebrating or who may be dealing with hardships in their personal lives.