Top tips for an inclusive holiday season.

Aotearoa is a culturally diverse nation made up of many ethnic groups, so for organisations planning a staff function, it’s important you consider all people.

Broaden the scope

Remember, Christmas isn’t a thing for everybody, so as we come to the end of what’s been a pretty unusual year, make sure you focus any staff functions on bringing people together, celebrating the summer months, and acknowledging the achievements made over the past 12 months. 

Make a committee

At the planning stages, it’s a good idea to organise an event or social committee that’s as reflective of your workforce as possible – the committee can then be responsible for organising inclusive events.

Ask

The best way to know what your employees care about, is to ask them. Your committee could survey your employees to find out what holidays they’d like to see recognised, what sort of celebrations people prefer, what times work best for the majority, and so on. It’s a good idea to check in yearly for changes.

Encourage participation

If it’s the appropriate setting, then you could invite employees to bring in decorations from their faith and background, so that the office can be inclusively decorated. The same goes for food – open up the floor and invite people to bring in holiday dishes from their culture.

Food

And speaking of food, this presents a major opportunity to be inclusive. Make sure your catering plan includes non-pork and vegetarian/vegan options. There should always be attractive non-alcoholic beverages to accommodate those that don’t drink for religious or health reasons.

Make it optional

‍The holidays can be tough for those who’ve had a hard year, for whatever personal reason. So for some, skipping this year’s celebrations might be what they’re more comfortable with. Reassure employees that as much as you’d love them to, they’re not obligated to attend. And keep tabs on anyone who may need support during the holiday season.

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