How to celebrate the holidays in a multicultural workplace

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5.    Allow employees to bow out. Some people love the hustle and bustle of the holiday season and others find it exhausting, enjoying the extra days off to re-energize. Some families’ finances are stretched to the limit; others have a greater ability to share and give. Respect individual differences; don’t expect all to participate equally in workplace holiday activities or initiatives. Employees should be given the opportunity to opt out of any company festivities, like the holiday party or any other activities, without facing negative feedback from others. Make sure that everyone knows that it is okay to say no.
6.    Look beyond December. Recognize and educate different religious holidays throughout the year, not only during the month of December. Consider compiling a diversity calendar and distributing the information so that people can reference the material and acknowledge other the traditions and cultures of their co-workers.
 7.  Communicate! The best way to ensure everyone feels included is to maintain open lines of communication. Involve employees in the planning of holiday events and decorating, ask them how they prefer to celebrate, and encourage them to share their holiday traditions if they feel comfortable doing so. Holiday decorations and celebrations should seek to educate, not discriminate.
Remember, the holidays are meant to be a time for family and friends, and a season of joy and giving. Holiday celebrations and decorations should enhance the spirit of the season, not detract from it.
About the Author
Jabeen Boga is a seasoned human resources professional with close to ten years of experience across a wide variety of Human Resources functions. Jabeen is a Certified Human Resources Professional who earned her undergraduate degree from Simon Fraser University, obtaining Dean’s Honor Roll Standing.
Jabeen has worked for large organizations including KPMG, and TD Bank and is currently employed at a large engineering firm. She is passionate about the field of human resources and sharing her knowledge through mentoring and teaching. Jabeen is part of the Ashton College faculty instructing the Diploma in Human Resource Management program and currently leads a Career Advancement Roundtable through HRMA.

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