The holiday season is here. In just a few short days, people will be partaking in some of the many holiday season activities, such as family dinners, shopping, and even attending holiday parties. If your office is like many around this time of year, you are planning your holiday gathering to end the year and spread some cheer (rhyme intended). However, the holidays are not the same for everyone. Some people do not have family with whom to celebrate. Some people enjoy different religious festivities. Some people do not even celebrate the holiday season, for one reason or another. Therefore, it is important to be cognizant of the differences that make up the staff in your office and be mindful when planning holiday celebrations. Here are three tips to keep in mind when enjoying the holidays at work.

  1. Keep Religion Out of It

There is a lot of discussion as to whether or not people should celebrate the holidays or make the celebration more a religious experience. This discussion is perfectly acceptable among friends and family. However, at the office, among co-workers, this is not a discussion. The truth is, the holiday season is filled with numerous different religious and cultural holidays. Therefore, it should be a celebration of the season; not a specific religious themed celebration. Do as much as possible to be all-inclusive. You may choose to decorate with winter themed decorations. Or, if you are choosing to incorporate culture and religion, choose to make the decor all-inclusive, recognizing each and every holiday that occurs during this time of year.

  1. Check the Calendar Before Planning a Party

This time of year has numerous holidays to celebrate. Google a date you are considering for the office gathering before putting it on the calendar. Make sure you choose a date that is not part of a religious celebration or cultural event. Instead, the date should be a neutral date that does not force employees to choose between a gathering with their co-workers and a family event for a holiday celebration. In other words, be considerate of your employees’ time and differences.

  1. Set the Tone

As the management team or ownership of the company, it is up to you to set the tone of inclusiveness in the workplace. Make sure you are not being religious in your greeting or communications. Make sure you are setting the expectation for the holiday party, maybe limiting alcohol or setting in place rules of expected conduct and how misconduct will be handled. The holiday season and holiday parties can be a ton of fun in the office. However, they can also be a recipe for disaster if there is no tone in place that makes all feel welcomed and secure.

The idea is to enjoy this time of year, however, remember that you are among colleagues. While some colleagues may be closer than others, this is a working environment and professional respect should always be the top priority. If you are looking for more help with HR and any issues that may need to be addressed, contact the experts at Fusion Employer Services at (609) 896-5900.