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  • Writer's pictureSertrice Shipley

Practicing Inclusion this Holiday Season

Originally posted on the Mattingly Solutions Blog.

September-December is jampacked with holidays. This is always a good time of year to consider best practices for how to be inclusive with holidays in your organization. It’s important to consider how this time of year, while celebratory for some, can be exclusionary for others depending on the policies and practices used in your organization.

For that reason, I have put together a list of tips for how best to practice inclusion this holiday season and all year round.

7 Best Practices for Inclusive Holidays

Create a holiday calendar

It can be hard to remember to do a social media post or email announcement for every holiday. My best piece of advice? Simplify. Consider creating a holiday calendar for an entire year that is accessible to everyone in the organization year-round.

There are a lot of lists out there that you can use as a starting point. Seramount has one of my favorites. There are others available from ADL, Diversity Resources, and more! Find the one that is best for your needs and then add to it.


Give your employees the option to add holidays

Allowing employees to add to your holiday calendar will help you catch things that you miss and it adds a personal touch of knowing what matters most to your employees. You can even give them the option to write in personal thoughts or stories related to the calendar.


Include a list of holidays in a monthly newsletter

If you have an internal newsletter, at the start of each month, you could include a list of the holidays happening that month. That way you don't have to remember to do it the day of, but you do recognize it.


As an added bonus, this can also be educational, not just a list! Include 1-2 notes about each holiday on the list. This encourages curiosity of other cultures as a value among employees.

You can use your DEI council to help create this list. It is a useful way to make sure they are having business impact.

Don't have a DEI council yet? Contact Mattingly today to schedule a consultation for a DEIx Council Build.


Add floating holidays

From a process perspective, if you haven't already, consider adding in floating holidays so people can take off on holidays that matter most to them.


Avoid scheduling events that overlap with holidays

Throughout the year, be aware of your holiday calendar and avoid scheduling major company events that overlap with days that people may be off (this especially matters for interfaith holidays).


Avoid doing specific holiday celebrations

Instead opt for company-based celebrations (winter party, spring gala, etc). That way no one feels left out. And make sure your decor and food options are inclusive!


Collect feedback from employees

Be sure to apply their ideas in the future to improve your processes.

Looking to advance DEI through data-driven insights in your organization? Contact us at Plan to Action today to drive meaningful change, together.

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