Colorado Real Estate News

Inclusivity in the Workplace During the Holiday Season

While we typically associate holidays with joy and celebration, for some people they can also be a time of loss and loneliness. Additionally, because many holidays are founded on religious or cultural traditions, people may feel uncomfortable or denigrated when one holiday receives more recognition than another. This is why it is pertinent to utilize these tips to help create an inclusive workplace, especially during the holiday season.

Undeniably, your culture and employee experience are impacted by the way you choose to celebrate holidays at work. Recognizing the origins of your employees and co-workers helps to foster a culture of belonging in the workplace. Read below for several tips that will get the whole office involved.

Institute a DEI Council Committee
In 2020, Kentwood instituted a DEI council and one reason in particular was to ensure all cultures and beliefs are represented and included, especially during the holidays. We put into place a diverse planning committee and now involve brokers with varying backgrounds to help with the holiday planning, coordination and implementation. Other than core members, like DEI or human resources staff, consider staggering the committee’s membership terms to allow for new employees and ideas as part of the committee.

Create a Holiday Calendar
Distributing a holiday calendar where every holiday for each religion and culture is represented for everyone to acknowledge is a good idea to think about including regular internal communications about approaching holidays and inviting staff or brokers to share how they celebrate. This will not only make the workplace more informed and sensitive, but it will also help build traditions and a sense of community.

Be Aware of Food and Beverage Restrictions
During the holiday celebrations, try to provide different food and beverage options that accommodate all preferences and restrictions. For example, this could mean providing food that meets your brokers’ kosher, halal or vegetarian needs. Where one places the food is also notable, as it may be offensive for some to see their food next to certain meats.

Keep Brokers Who Live More Remotely in Mind
Trying to maintain an inclusive hybrid and remote culture during holiday parties can be difficult for growing companies and especially brokerages. If only an in-person party is planned, but you have brokers who are pretty far out of town, or in our case Denver metro, there are many creative ways to go about an online holiday party, such as utilizing break-out rooms for conversation or activities. It is beneficial to frame the occasion as a chance to reflect on the organization’s goals for the upcoming year and to show appreciation for the staff and brokers’ dedication.

Participation is Not Required
When it comes to holiday work parties, you must ensure that employees know that they don’t have to attend if they do not feel up to it. Many brokers and staff force themselves to participate because they are worried about how it will look to others or that they won’t get the next promotion because management doesn’t like it. It should always be clear that taking part in a party has nothing to do with work and that brokers and staff should only do it if they would like to attend.

It is most important to remember that people are more creative and collaborative when they feel like they can show up as their complete selves at their place of work. As an employee, you should constantly think about how you are creating a culture of inclusion in the workplace. Educating yourself and others on diversity, equity and inclusion is the best practice when it comes to holidays at work.