8 Best Practices for Inclusive Holiday Celebrations in The Workplace

What is a best practice for inclusive holiday celebrations in the workplace?


To help you with best practices for celebrating holidays inclusively in your workplace, we asked CEOs and people managers this question for their best recommendations. From creating collaborative holiday calendars to centering the holidays more on meal-sharing, there are several best practices that you may follow to foster inclusive holiday celebrations in your workplace.


Here are eight best practices for inclusive holiday celebrations at work:

  • Create a Collaborative Holiday Calendar
  • Stick Only With The Generalities of The Holiday
  • Make Participation Voluntary
  • Embrace Holiday Traditions of Team Members Equally
  • Make Management Lead The Inclusive Agenda
  • Use Decor To Encourage Diversity
  • Create and Celebrate Company’s Own Holidays
  • Center The Holiday More on Meal-Sharing


Create a Collaborative Holiday Calendar

One best practice for holiday inclusivity in the workplace is to create a shared holiday calendar. Encourage employees to use this calendar by adding the holidays they will be celebrating. Make sure to set a calendar reminder notification so that everyone on the team is aware of the upcoming special day. This can be a great way for employees to learn more about one another and build better personal connections. Just last month during Holi, I was able to learn more about the holiday and how my co-worker celebrated this year. That conversation led to learning about the differences in celebration in America versus India and sparked questions about other holidays I’m less familiar with. Having a holiday calendar is a great way to connect with colleagues, learn about different holidays and cultures, and encourage inclusive holiday celebrations in the workplace.

Adrian James, Terkel


Stick Only With The Generalities of The Holiday

The best way to have inclusive holiday celebrations is to stay away from personality images and stick with the colors of the season. For instance, you can avoid religious connotations and the Easter bunny but include spring pictures, tulips, and pastel colors. You can do the same with every holiday. Stick with the holiday colors but leave images of legends, folklore, or religious identity out of the office.

Baruch Labunski, Rank Secure


Make Participation Voluntary

Some employers mistake ‘inclusivity’ as making sure all employees participate in every celebration to feel included. I think the whole point of inclusive holiday festivities is to create a warm and welcoming environment where everyone feels like they belong. Making employees feel like they must attend even if they don’t enjoy it beats the purpose of such celebrations. I find it essential to communicate with your staff that these events are just for fun, and their absence won’t be held against them. I myself have noticed some employees looking miserable at otherwise cheerful celebratory events and know for a fact that some attend solely because they fear what their coworkers might think or they might be overlooked for an upcoming promotion. No matter how excited you are about whatever events you have planned for the holidays, it is essential to respect everyone’s unique views and accept that not everyone is comfortable participating in religious celebrations.

Anjela Mangrum, Mangrum Career Solutions


Embrace Holiday Traditions of Team Members Equally

Adaptability is a key to business success, and executives should extend embracing the trait to enhance company culture by creating a way to acknowledge holiday celebrations observed by all of their employees. We put this into place by scheduling a special holiday video conference. We were mindful of scheduling the get-together early in the holiday season so it wouldn’t fall on any specific holiday.  The informal event included a roundtable in which each team member was invited to share a favorite holiday celebration. We also put a broader spin on our games, from featuring trivia about different holiday celebrations to seeing how well we knew our coworkers by guessing each other’s New Year’s resolutions. Also, in our holiday-time communications, whether it be via email, Slack, or video meetings, we used the salutation “Seasons Greetings” instead of “Merry Christmas.”

Karen Condor, ExpertInsuranceReviews.com


Make Management Lead The Inclusive Agenda

One best practice for inclusive holiday celebrations in the workplace is to take initiative as a leader to work non-mainstream holidays into your program. You should not put the responsibility on employees to educate coworkers about their celebrations and traditions. Nor should you assume that just because employees do not volunteer to share their culture, they would not appreciate seeing their holidays represented at work. If you take the lead and involve other holidays in the festivities and communicate to employees that it is important to learn about and embrace less familiar holidays, then as time goes on celebrants of these holidays may take a more active role in event organization. Your enthusiasm and respect for the celebration give employees the green light to share their culture and be their full selves during times of workplace celebration.

Carly Hill, Virtual Holiday Party


Use Decor To Encourage Diversity

Allow employees to express themselves through multicultural decor and celebratory events. Don’t just celebrate traditional cultures, but all of them. This is a great opportunity to learn about new cultures and employees will feel excited to participate in the celebration. As a business, it also increases employee productivity and encourages collaboration in a fun and relaxed setting.

Jodi Neuhauser, Ovaterra


Create and Celebrate Company’s Own Holidays

There is no better way to make a celebration in the workplace truly inclusive than to come up with a holiday, which officially does not exist. It can just be your company’s day. Free from religious, historical, and political issues. No one to unintentionally offend. No potentially controversial holiday details to avoid by all means. No language, food, or decoration matters to worry about. The list goes on. Just a group of happy people from different backgrounds, enjoying the party.

Agata Szczepanek, MyPerfectResume


Center The Holiday More on Meal-Sharing

Inclusive holiday celebrations are simpler than we think. Most holidays have a traditional meal or dish associated with it. This is a great starting point for fostering full workforce inclusion and joy of any given celebration. Everybody needs to eat, and holidays often showcase the best aspects of any culture. Along with some delicious provisions to nibble, some basic history and information about the holiday is a wonderful way to include everyone in a celebration. Particular fans of a holiday would be great to plan and prepare the celebration effort. They can also stage a light discussion about holiday customs and traditions as the food is being served. Whether familiar or foreign, holiday celebrations are about community and love. The best way to bring people together is through food and storytelling.

New Melchizedec S, Expertrec



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