Celebrating the Holidays in a Multicultural Workplace

by | Leadership

With the holidays right around the corner, it’s time to start thinking about how you’ll celebrate with your employees. Traditional ways to spread cheer may unintentionally exclude some employees. In today’s multicultural workplace, it may be time for you fine-tune your approach to holiday celebrations. Here are some ideas to make sure your celebrations leave everyone on your staff feeling cheerful:

  • Create a multicultural holiday team. Task a diverse group of employees with coming up with ideas to celebrate the holiday season in an inclusive and respectful way. Invite ideas that incorporate traditional food and customs from other cultures.
  • Translate your holiday message. Many company leaders like to end the year with a personal message to their employees. Use a translation service to deliver this message in each employee’s native language. Not only will this ensure your message is understood by all, it will also boost morale and improve teamwork.
  • Consider language barriers. Terms such as “secret Santa” or “white elephant” can leave Limited English Proficiency (LEP) employees confused. English is a tricky language. Be sure you don’t let slang and colloquialisms interfere with your holiday festivities.
  • Think beyond December. When it comes to gift-giving from the company, consider ideas that will motivate employees all year round. Studies show that today’s workforce is driven by opportunities for self-improvement. What does this mean for you? It means your employees would prefer you ditch the generic gift card in favor of career-advancing training language training is often at the top of that list.
  • Celebrate religious diversity. Recognizing other holidays in December, such as Ramadan, Hanukkah, and Kwanzaa, doesn’t mean you’re being anti-Christmas. It means your embracing the spirit of gratitude and giving across multicultural boundaries. Let everyone know their beliefs are respected and appreciated.

However you decide to celebrate the holidays with your staff, stay focused on ideas that make everyone feel included and appreciated.

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