We live in a world that’s a rich tapestry of cultures, religions, and traditions. Our workspaces are a cross-section of this greater population, with our team members also coming from a variety of backgrounds and beliefs.
Inclusiveness means recognizing that our workspaces are made of individuals and not of homogeneity. Diversity makes for better collaboration and problem solving, with our different perspectives offering a more robust process. Organizations need to make sure that every person who is a unique piece of a company’s collective strength, feels like they belong.
With Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) being fundamental to building better company culture, it’s important to acknowledge and celebrate the holidays and other significant dates in a way that makes everyone feel like they matter. Learning about these culturally important times of the year and why they’re important doesn’t have to be mysterious or difficult. Along with what your organization already has in place in building DEI, OpenSesame’s OpenDoors microlearning coursework is a powerful addition to expanding your organization’s cultural awareness.
Show your dedication to multiculturalism
It’s true that specific holidays have traditionally gotten more attention. There’s nothing wrong with observing them, but there are so many other holidays and culturally significant times of the year. Acknowledging these dates, shows that your organization cares about everyone’s beliefs. Inclusiveness shouldn’t be a few paragraphs in an employee handbook or a mandatory video for employees to watch, but an ongoing process of company growth and development.
Create cultural awareness
Give your employees opportunities to learn about and recognize holidays and observances throughout the year.
A good first step is to put together a calendar dotted with holidays and dates significant to different cultures and marginalized groups. Awareness is the first step in understanding, and seeing that there are holidays beyond the scope of what we’re all familiar with opens our eyes to a broader perspective.
Know your employees and what holidays or other important times of the year they observe. Do something special to acknowledge these dates. This could be anything from serving an appropriate holiday treat or sending out a company email talking about the significance of the day.
Recognize holidays in a way that’s respectful and thoughtful
It’s one thing to know the name and date of a holiday or observance, but having a deeper understanding of its importance to a group of people demonstrates both consideration and respect. When team members know that others care and are invested in who they are, they won’t feel separate from their colleagues, but part of a greater whole.
Build a more inclusive workspace through OpenDoors
OpenDoors enriches your company’s knowledge and awareness of holidays and observances through micro-learning modules. Each section focuses on a specific holiday, month of awareness, or other notable dates and gives employees deeper insights and knowledge into them
Some of the inclusive celebrations and observances OpenDoors offers education in include:
- Black History Month (U.S.)
- Pride Month (U.S.)
- National Women’s History Month
- Nation Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month (U.S.)
- Arab American History Month (U.S.)
Commit your organization to diversity and inclusion
Your employees perform their roles better when they feel like they’re visible. Giving attention to different holidays, and other significant times of the year helps those who have been traditionally marginalized in feeling like they have found the right place with your company.
Though there can be challenges in applying new practices in expanding DEI, OpenDoors and its inclusive training should be a part of a company’s wider efforts in creating more inclusive spaces.