9 Ways to Celebrate Diversity in the Workplace

Jul 01, 2021
9 Ways to Celebrate Diversity in the Workplace

 

Inclusivity in the workplace is an important topic. Your company culture must be open-minded and hire multiple people with different backgrounds to succeed. Diversity and inclusion in the workplace brings multiple viewpoints into the room for increased creativity, new thinking, and improved performance. 

Whether you're a small business or a large corporation, the benefits of supporting diversity and inclusion in your workplace go beyond boosting your brand's public image. Here are a few strategies that you can use to begin celebrating cultural diversity in the workplace.

1. Pay Attention to Cultural Nuances

While employers can't ask an employee about their religion during or after the pre-employment background check, an employee may feel free to share it, which gives you an opportunity to celebrate diversity. 

From holidays to beliefs, make sure that everyone feels like they matter in your workplace. For example, the federal government does not recognize any other religious holidays other than the Christian holidays like Easter and Christmas. This can be difficult for people who celebrate other holidays like Hanukkah. If you don't allow your employees to take off the holidays important to their cultures and religions, then your workplace won't be very inclusive. 

Most diverse and accepting workplaces will allow employees to celebrate holidays without having to use their paid time off, just like they legally must do for Christmas. 

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2. Address Communication Barriers

Whether you work with remote employees from around the world or you hire employees who come from other countries, the odds are that you're going to have to address communication barriers. While most people from other different backgrounds speak English very well, some might still have difficulty understanding what you're saying and vice versa. You can address these barriers with language cards or interpreters that can help you communicate more effectively with your employees. 

3. Develop a Cultural Calendar

While letting your employees celebrate their holidays is an important first step in celebrating your culturally diverse and inclusive workplace, you should also create a calendar. Let your employees add to the calendar so that your HR team knows how to plan events to celebrate with festive activities. It will also allow your employees to take time off without feeling the need to discuss their religion at work.

4. Encourage Education

If your employees are open to sharing more about their backgrounds and cultures, ask them if they'd be willing to talk to the rest of the staff and lead educational opportunities and events that highlight their traditions. Many people, including your employees, are happy to learn about other cultures and viewpoints, so an hour dedicated to learning about each other can help your team bond, increasing their happiness and productivity in the workplace.

5. Create a Bulletin Board

Dedicate a space in your building to celebrate cultural diversity in the workplace. This area can allow your employees to learn and share pictures or information about their culture, background, and lifestyle. They can also post information about an upcoming holiday and why it's important to them. Hopefully, all of your employees will want to contribute to the project, allowing them to get to know each other better.


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6. Employee Diversity Training

One buzzword when it came to diversity a few years ago was "tolerance." However, we've come so far since then, and instead of simply tolerating others, your employees should know how to treat others from different backgrounds. Diversity training can be a part of your onboarding process that explains the importance of diversity and how it helps your organization remain strong. 

This training should be heavily focused on how to treat people with different backgrounds who celebrate other religions and can be closely tied into your harassment policy. Though everyone deserves basic respect at work, they may not understand that certain questions or comments can be offensive to people with different backgrounds. 

Your HR policies should reflect your focus on diversity in the workplace so that you can ensure no one feels unsafe or uncomfortable while on the job.


7. Support Employee Advancement

Minorities often struggle to advance in their careers and have low job satisfaction levels. Many people, no matter their race, gender, or religion, believe that their bosses don't advocate for them and have a fear of gender and racial bias at work. 

A more inclusive workplace should support advancement opportunities for diverse backgrounds and employees. This can be anything from helping them network to teaching them new skills that can help them advance within the company.

8. Make Company Culture Important

Your company culture reflects your business in so many ways. Company culture goes far beyond throwing a pizza party to celebrate a big win; instead, it should be about your employees and how you can make them happy. If your company culture breeds workplace bullies and doesn't support diversity, it's time to revamp your corporate policies. 

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9. Let Your Employees Get to Know Each Other


Yes, you want your employees to be working as long as they're on the clock, but you have to understand that your employees will eventually get to know one another whether they're working or not. Many people have best friends that they met at work because, during slow work periods, they were able to strike up a conversation. 

If you allow your employees a longer lunch period, most of them will stay on-premise and get to know one another so that they can make friends in the workplace, which will ultimately make them happier. 

Don't make policies in your HR documents that stop your employees from asking questions about certain religions and cultures. Instead, teach your employee's non-offensive ways to strike up conversations so they can learn more about people who are different from them.

Diversity in the Workplace

Diversity is an absolute necessity for any organization that wants to succeed. Not only are politics calling for more diversity in the workplace, but your business can benefit from it whether it's a law or not. Not only can you learn more about viewpoints from people who think differently than you, but these viewpoints can help you solve problems faster and better while fostering a communicative and healthy work environment for all of your employees. 

 

About Author: Matt Casadona has a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, with a concentration in Marketing and a minor in Psychology. He is currently a contributing editor for 365 Business Tips. Matt is passionate about marketing and business strategy and enjoys the San Diego life, traveling and music.