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Diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging during the holidays can be tricky. You don’t want to show favoritism towards particular groups, individuals, events, or personal values.  

We each have a story of where we’re from, traditions we celebrate, and culture that has shaped our points of view. Since each person will celebrate holidays in your workplace differently, recognizing and supporting an inclusive environment shows your team cares about everyone! 

The holiday season is already known to increase stress for employees. Take on the challenge to make this season a joyful time for everyone, embracing the variety that comes with each holiday that’s celebrated.  

Here are some tips to consider as your organization begins planning for the holiday season. 

Create space for people to be themselves.

Teammates must feel safe to express themselves at work. Giving employees the freedom to show others what matters most to them, and having this gesture reciprocated, helps your team celebrate differences and embrace new traditions. 

Find out which events and values matter to employees.

One of the easiest and fastest ways to learn the scope of holiday celebrations for your team is by asking them. Send out an inclusion and holiday diversity survey to capture further details, leaving room for comments at the end for anything you might have missed. Keep in mind that not all employees will be celebrating religious holidays, too. Try to keep certain words, decorations, food and drink options, and other party details more inclusive when you are announcing or scheduling a group activity. This way no one feels pressure to do something uncomfortable or disregard their own set of values.

Create an inclusive holiday calendar to build awareness.

Planning ahead and having a reference point for major holidays and festivities will guide your team throughout the year. Many organizations look to interfaith calendars for remembering important dates. Often, companies will offer floating holiday options as well. This gives each employee the opportunity to celebrate a particularly special time at their discretion. Make sure that managers and coworkers are being respectful during these times and not disrupting the individual’s time away from work. 

Let everyone opt-in or opt-out.

Celebrating diversity and inclusion during the holidays requires a mindful and empathetic approach. Our own biases and beliefs can be hard to overlook during certain times of the year! Give everyone the ability to join in or opt out of particular company-wide events to be supportive of balanced work culture.

Learn how to keep improving.

Your team is not going to succeed 100% of the time in keeping holidays in the workplace a perfect version of inclusivity and diversity. Learn from any mistakes and find ways to improve by receiving feedback from your team.

Whether you receive an outpouring of praise and encouragement or some constructive criticism, be sure to address it appropriately. Huddle with leadership on big issues or address specific situations with individuals directly. Once your coworkers feel heard, make a plan. Take what you’ve learned and apply it to your next holiday inclusivity and diversity planning session. 

Creating an inclusive company culture doesn’t happen overnight, keep putting in the work, asking questions and make the holiday season inclusion a pivotal part of your workplace culture.  

We hope you have a great holiday season and make your team feel special by celebrating everyone’s unique story, values and traditions. If you would like more information on creating an equitable, inclusive culture that fosters belonging feel free to reach out to Purple Ink.

Misty Resendez Woods
Misty Resendez Woods
Misty is a former member of the Purple Ink team. She is passionate about developing professionals so that they have the tools necessary to enhance their personal drive for success throughout everything they do.

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