With the holiday season approaching, you may be thinking about your company holiday party and related festivities. Enter, the December Dilemma, the time of year where multiple holidays collide and can cause workplace misunderstandings or conflict. Whether you host a party outside of the office or you keep the celebrations in-house, the last thing your company wants is to have good intentions that instead end up isolating or upsetting your diverse employee groups.
Celebrate Inclusion: Planning holiday parties and celebrations can be stressful and difficult. If you are involved in the planning process, remember to make them as inclusive as possible, and reevaluate any long-standing traditions.
It’s also a good idea to start new traditions, like acknowledging holidays that fall outside of December, sending fall or winter cards to clients and co-workers, or doing a charity project together.
Following are a few additional tips for maintaining an inclusive holiday spirit at your company:
- Inclusive messaging: instead of religious affiliations to holidays like Christmas or Chanukah try using words like “holiday season” or “winter celebration”.
- Inclusive activities: instead of hosting a “Secret Santa”, offer participating in a “Grab Bag”.
- Inclusive Decor: the holiday season doesn’t have to mean decorating the office space or venue with every holiday symbol associated with various religions or cultures. If your workplace wants to decorate, consider decorating with neutral colored lights, snowflakes or floral bouquets.
The most important thing to remember is to maintain diversity and inclusion efforts during the holiday seasons so that all employees feel recognized and accepted.