Wondering how you can help everyone feel included at your holiday event? Here are five tips on planning a multi-cultural holiday party that celebrates and respects all beliefs.
You can include everyone in your holiday events.
- Focus on Company-wide Celebration: By the time the holiday season rolls around, we are closing in on the end of the calendar year. Rather than focusing your event on religious beliefs or non-secular traditions, why not put the spotlight on this year’s achievements at your organization. Perhaps the CEO or President can give a speech recognizing the efforts of the entire team and encourage attendees to congratulate each other for all of the hard work and dedication.
- Create a Multi-Cultural Environment: If you do want to celebrate the various backgrounds that make up your diverse workforce, then you’> > > > ll want to be sure you include all of them. While some holidays are well known, there may be others you don’t even know about yet. You can ask your staff ahead of time about their preferences (some denominations may not want to be included in holiday celebrations) for the holiday party, including decorations, food, beverages, music and activities. Depending on the feedback, you could consider asking everyone to bring a decoration, food item, or game representative of each background.
- Respect Schedules and Timing: When planning a multi-cultural holiday party, it helps to be aware of when each holiday occurs. For example, the Jewish holiday of Hanukkah may begin on a different day each year. Some denominations do not celebrate holidays at all, such as Jehovah’s Witnesses. In this case, it may be best to plan the holiday celebration after hours rather than during work hours. No one wants to be stuck at the office while others are out at the event.
- Ask about Dietary Restrictions: With an increase in gluten-free, nut-free and dairy-free requirements, it is wise to ask about employees’ preferences ahead of time. Consider having a broad range of cuisine, including vegetarian options. When it comes to beverages, you may want to have non-alcoholic beverages on hand.
- Refrain from Mandatory Attendance: Even though the idea of a multi-cultural holiday party is to make everyone feel welcome, you may have some individuals who do not feel comfortable attending or whose religion restricts their attendance. Instead of making attendance mandatory, simply understand that some employees have their reasons for passing.
Above all, remember that a company holiday party is about coming together for the sake of fun and camaraderie. You can plan a multi-cultural holiday event that welcomes people of all backgrounds without compromising the purpose of celebration.