How to keep inclusive this Christmas?

21st December 2021

It’s that time of the year again, whether you celebrate Christmas or not, we are nearing the end of the last month of the year. There are some things that as an employer you might be thinking about – for example; how is the next year going to look and what you have achieved across the past 12 months. You should also be thinking about your employees, and how they may be feeling during this festive period. Everyone has different experiences of Christmas, therefore it is crucial that everyone can be included in some capacity. Here are some top things to consider:

 

Create a safe space for all religions, all year round:

Christmas is something which is all around, especially if you are a part of a Christian community, but also because of the amount of Christmas songs and films there are. In the UK, we are lucky to be living in a multicultural society, where so many religions are practiced, including Hinduism, Sikhism, Islam, Judaism, Buddhism and more.

Any employer who wishes to be inclusive must observe the calendar of religious celebrations and festivals all year long in order to ensure that everyone is being recognised, and all the faiths are being represented. This doesn’t just mean a social media post on those days, but also engaging and educating about these special days.

With regards to Christmas, it is important to note that not everyone celebrates it the same way, and it means different things for different people.

 

Christmas parties

The UK Christmas Parties are known for being a great time to celebrate the end of the year with your colleagues. You’re able to chat with your employers in a more casual setting, however it is key to remember that you are still colleagues.

Moreover, it is important to consider when these events will take place, as they should be as considerate as possible of everyone’s schedule – people will have other responsibilities which may mean they are unable to attend for whatever reason. Especially if your team is remote, it might be difficult for some to travel to the event.

Dietary requirements and non-alcoholic options are also key to ensure everyone is included, as well as the event itself – not everyone will feel comfortable attending a big event with many people. Offering a smaller “pre-event” is a way to ensure more people might want to attend.

Overall, the key thing here is to make sure no one feels like it is mandatory to attend these events, and that it is just an opportunity for those in the company to celebrate if they wish to.

 

Time of the year

Although it is a time for festivity and joy, this is not the case for everyone and as employers, you should be mindful of that. Holiday periods can be a difficult time for people for many reasons, for example, it may serve as a reminder of loved ones who are no longer with them, or perhaps emotional and financial stress that comes with this time of the year.

Making sure you are there for your employee’s mental health is key. This can be a good opportunity to show them where they can get support internally and encourage them to check in on each other.

 

Overall, just checking in on everyone as much as you can is a great way to be inclusive this time of year. It’s a time for listening and sharing, as much as it is for celebrating and relaxing. At Marshalls, we wish you the very best for the remainder of the year and for the holidays.

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