I’m Dreaming of an Inclusive Holiday Season

Diverse Group of People Mingling at a Party

The holiday season can sometimes feel like a challenging time to navigate in a corporate
setting. Here are 5 tips to help you and your team ensure that inclusivity is not ignored this time
of year.

1. Remember, there are at least 14 holidays (both spiritual, religious, and tradition-based) celebrated between November 20th and January 24th. The ones that you know may not be the only ones celebrated across your organization. Ensure that you educate yourself and your team and recognize that there are most likely a variety of faiths making up your workplace!

2. Be intentional with your language. Choosing to say “Happy Holidays” is not an attack on Christmas. It’s inclusive language. Religious affiliation is a primary identity of diversity that can often be invisible. Remember that while you may think you know what a person celebrates, it is always safer to not assume. 

3. Be mindful of seasonal decorations. This is not to say that only secular decorations are acceptable, but just remember that faith is a core identity for many people. Being in a space filled with something you are not can be very uncomfortable. Try to be mindful of shared spaces (i.e. desk decorations, break rooms, etc.) and ensure that you are being representative of the populations in your office. We would recommend even putting together an Inclusive Holiday Policy that outlines expectations and regulations around celebrating in your workspace. 

4. There’s more to this than just religion. Many factors outside of work come into play at this time of year. Things such as geographic location, marital or parental status, socioeconomic status, and even political affiliation can be areas of stress around this time. If employees aren’t “feeling the holiday spirit”, try to be empathetic of their environments outside of the office and recognize that not everyone experiences the holidays in the same way. 

5. It all comes down to goodwill and respect. After all, isn’t that what this season is all about?

Rosalie Banner is the Operations Coordinator for The HR Source

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