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As organizations work towards incorporating more (and improved) diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) practices within the workplace, it’s important to recognize the significance of celebrating holidays in support of inclusion. Inclusive holiday planning goes beyond simply switching from a Christmas party to a holiday party it focuses not only on celebrating but also providing education to employees to understand the significance behind each holiday.

The benefits of celebrating DEI holidays in the workplace

Whether the holidays you recognize are cultural or religious, they each represent a valuable part of your employees’ identity, which in turn impacts the experience they have with the company. In fact, 89% of job seekers and current employees say commitment to diversity and inclusion is critical in an employer. If they feel truly represented, there is a higher likelihood of better productivity, innovation and authentic contribution, and retention.

There are so many global holidays and celebrations to consider, but it’s all about your unique workforce. When celebrating different holidays in the workplace it gives everyone an opportunity to learn about different cultures and the significance and history behind each celebration If your employees consider themselves to be heard, celebrated, and supported by authentic and intentional efforts from leadership, you will open the door for honest communication and diverse feedback, which enhances DEI in the workplace even further.

How to take action

Firstly, diversity and inclusion can’t truly succeed without input from the whole team. So, when it comes to which holidays you should honor and celebrate (and how), the most important starting point is asking what your employees value. You can incorporate this into your hiring and onboarding process, during quarterly or annual reviews, within surveys and small group discussions, or by leveraging your ERGs.

Leadership can’t assume anyone’s cultural or religious values — they must truly listen to what employees have to say and actively facilitate that conversation. It’s also important to communicate with employees in return and explain the intent and goal of honoring more diversity in this way, which ultimately should be to create a more welcoming, dynamic, and productive environment.

Additionally, when looking to celebrate make sure to be intentional and think about certain items for each holiday.

  • Think of employee backgrounds an example is to not schedule a holiday party on a day that some employees are fasting for Ramadan.
  • Be mindful of those who do not drink during celebrations and make sure to include non-alcoholic options and not center holiday celebrations around booze.
  • Make holiday celebrations truly optional and communicate that with employees that they are under no obligation to attend.
  • Make holiday celebrations a group participation. Encourage employees to share their stories through décor or helping to plan multicultural events to educate employees on the holiday they celebrate.

The next step is to utilize a DEI holiday calendar and content guide to learn about diverse celebrations and foster consistent employee engagement.

Advancing Belonging & Inclusion (ABI)

At Circa, we’ve created ABI a ready-to-use DEI calendar, content, guides, and resources to help organizations learn more about creating an inclusive workplace through holidays and observances.

ABI has a holistic calendar that includes:

  • A comprehensive list of DEI observances, holidays, and awareness dates
  • Communication templates to engage the workforce
  • Educational materials for each event and employee action items
  • A practitioner event guide with insights and suggestions to foster honor and respect for impacted groups

To take your DEI initiative and practices even further, our DEI content library includes:

  • Tips and best practices to support DEI strategies
  • Checklists, guides, how-to documents, and sample policies and templates
  • Content to help build a case for DEI, evaluate and adjust company policies and practices, and more

Our number one goal at Circa is to help organizations make true change and harness the power to transform their businesses beyond mandates and requirements. Learn more about how we can help you leverage DEI in your workplace and build high-performing, diverse teams.

Author

Katie Coleman
Product Marketing Manager
Circa
Katie Coleman is a Product Marketing Manager at Circa. Based on her conversations and research, Katie produces webinars and writes articles on diversity and other employment-related topics to guide employers, employees and job seekers in their professional endeavors.

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