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Incorporating Inclusion into Company Holidays

No matter what your job title is, or what company you work for, chances are that you work alongside someone who has a different worldview than you. Different world views are something to be embraced in the workplace – not ignored. Companies that embrace cultural differences foster an environment that encourages creativity and teamwork.

Creating an inclusive workplace cannot be accomplished in one or two acts. Instead, inclusion is achieved by making employees feel seen and heard every day. There is no better time to practice inclusivity than right now. Here are three ways to incorporate inclusion into your company holidays.

Talk to your employees

What’s the easiest way to know if your employees feel like they belong? Talk to them. While this is not groundbreaking news, it is important to make communication a two-way street. By opening up communication channels, employers are able to identify the needs of their employees. Prioritizing inclusion is more attainable when your employees’ needs are known. 

Offer floating holidays

A great way to make employees feel valued is to offer floating holidays. During the holiday season, many companies give their employees the day of Christmas off, and many times the day after Christmas too. But what about employees who don’t celebrate Christmas? Floating holidays would give every employee the ability to take time off for important religious or cultural holidays throughout the year.

While floating holidays are similar to PTO, the difference lies in how they’re used. Traditional PTO allows an employee to take any day off upon approval from their supervisor.

In this example from SHRM, floating holidays can only be used for religious or cultural holidays, employee birthdays, or other state/federal holidays in which the company remains open.

Keeping up with another category of leave may sound like a hassle, but it doesn’t have to be. With time and attendance software, floating holidays can be tracked as soon as an employee uses their day off. This way, employees and supervisors are always on the same page regarding PTO balances and accruals.

Adjust your calendar

The American calendar typically revolves around Christian holidays. While around three-quarters of the country’s population are Christians, we should still be aware of other religious and cultural holidays. There are many employees who celebrate important holidays throughout the year, not just at the end of the year. This is why it’s important to stay informed on major holidays that your employees celebrate.

There are great resources to stay informed on upcoming holidays. An interfaith calendar provides a list of holidays from around the world, along with the meaning that each day brings. Recording holidays that are important to your employees is a great way to be prepared for when they request time off.

Incorporating inclusion into the workplace sounds easier said than done. Inclusion isn’t something that can be checked off a list, rather it is practiced every day. Talking to your employees, offering floating holidays, and adjusting your calendar are just three ways to start practicing inclusion in the workplace.