Tips for the Holiday Season
Honor diversity by enhancing your office celebrations
By Kristen Wilson, PT, DPT
Planning office celebrations around the holidays can be a difficult task. Trying to meet every team member’s needs and upholding respect for the diversity of your workplace can leave the business owner unsure of whether celebrating is worth the risk of offending someone. But thoughtful consideration of how to host can yield a fun and enjoyable experience for everyone. For the upcoming holiday season, consider some of these tips to enhance your office celebrations while honoring diversity.
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- Ask your employees. It may seem simple, but sometimes asking directly is easier than trying to read everyone’s mind. Consider an informal office survey or a party planning committee comprised of different backgrounds. When people have a chance to weigh in, it is more unlikely that they will be offended or feel left out.
- Consider a non-denominational celebration. Instead of choosing to celebrate one holiday over another, consider naming your party a Gratitude Party that honors how thankful you are for your team. You can still exchange gifts or have food but keep the theme non-denominational to avoid leaving any cultural traditions out of the celebration.
- Don’t celebrate holidays at all. It may sound un-fun, but not celebrating any holidays means you won’t leave any out. Perhaps choose a different time of year or a day to celebrate unrelated to a holiday, like Physical Therapy Month.
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- Offer flexible holiday days. Instead of always closing the office on certain holidays, open the discussion to the team and see if they would prefer other days instead. While offering full flexibility may not be possible, the conversation will offer insight into which days are most meaningful to your team.
- Host a celebration week. If you have team members with different cultures in the office, you could consider honoring a different culture or tradition on each day of the week. Pick a week where none of the holidays fall and equally celebrate one each day with food and decorations. Place a team member in charge of each day and ask them to present their traditions to the team to foster better understanding and awareness.
Kristen Wilson, PT, DPT, is a PPS member, Impact editor, and owner of Action Potential in Glen Mills, Pennsylvania. She can be reached at email@example.com.