Learn how to enjoy yourself as a team and still be inclusive in your celebrations.
Office parties boost employee morale, foster camaraderie, and celebrate the company’s successes. However, ensuring these events are inclusive and celebrate diversity is essential so that all employees feel welcome and valued.
Planning an inclusive office holiday celebration requires thoughtful consideration of the needs and preferences of different groups of people.
In this article, we will offer actionable advice on how to plan an inclusive office party that promotes a sense of belonging among employees.
How to Plan an Inclusive Office Party
Planning an office party can be exciting. It certainly brings people closer and helps everyone let off some steam. When done right, it can do more than that. Here are eight tips that will help you create a fun and engaging office celebration that’s inclusive, thoughtful, and considerate.
1. Consider your workplace diversity.
Why limit celebrations to just a Christmas party in a diverse workplace?
The first step to planning a great inclusive office celebration is to consider the diversity of your workplace. Focusing solely on the mainstream holiday season can make many employees feel excluded in the long run. So, double-check on ethnicity, gender identity, sexual orientation, religion, age, and perspectives.
Knowing about various multicultural holidays and celebrations can increase awareness and provide valuable opportunities to improve employee engagement with the company’s objectives over time.
2. Hear your employees out.
What’s a better way to plan for people than to hear from them first?
Find out if your employees would even fancy the idea of an office celebration. Don’t just make assumptions about what you think they may or may not like.
Have you come across suggestions for incorporating fun activities into office celebrations? While it might be a great idea in theory, it’s important to consider whether your team members would genuinely appreciate and enjoy those ideas as much as you do. Ensuring that everyone’s preferences are considered is key to creating a gratifying and inclusive experience for all.
- What types of celebrations do they want to see?
- What activities would they appreciate and like to participate in?
- What holiday party ideas and suggestions would they like to share?
Instead, encourage employees to participate more by asking them these questions first. When everyone feels their voice is heard, they’ll be more invested in the party’s success.
3. Choose a theme that celebrates diversity.
Choosing a theme that celebrates diversity can help set the tone for an inclusive party. Consider themes representing different cultures, holidays, or causes your employees are passionate about. You could have a “Global Village” theme featuring foods, music, and decorations from around the world.
Alternatively, you could choose a theme that celebrates a specific cultural heritage or promotes awareness of a social or environmental cause that resonates with your team.
By selecting a theme that celebrates diversity, you create an atmosphere of inclusiveness and appreciation for your employees’ unique backgrounds and interests.
4. Make provisions for different dietary.
Food is often a central part of office parties, but it’s important to remember that not everyone can eat the same thing.
Be sure to accommodate dietary restrictions, such as vegetarian, vegan, halal, kosher, or gluten-free options. Ask employees in advance if they have any food preferences, and work with your caterer to provide suitable opportunities for everyone.
Ask them for suggestions, or have a potluck where everyone brings their favorite dish. It creates a wonderful opportunity to experience some of the most delicious cuisines. More than just the experience, it also serves as an excellent icebreaker, allowing people to share and build connections.
5. Choose an accessible venue.
Make sure that the venue is accessible and convenient for everyone. Since everyone has different needs, it’s better to ask their preferences. If some employees have disabilities or mobility issues, find a venue equipped with ramps, elevators, and other necessary accommodations. If you have employees who have hearing issues, consider providing sign language interpretation to ensure they can fully participate in the celebration.
6. Consider the timing.
Ensure that the office celebration doesn’t conflict with important religious or cultural events. This is important because it shows that you respect their beliefs and traditions. This can include Christmas, Hanukkah, Diwali, Ramadan, Lunar New Year, and others.
Communicate with your employees in advance to determine the best time for the celebration. You can also go the extra mile by offering different options, such as hosting the celebration on other days or at different times, to accommodate everyone’s schedules.
However, if the celebration does coincide with an important religious or cultural event, consider ways to incorporate that event into the celebration. For example, you could include decorations or food that reflect the holiday or occasion to promote diversity-driven company culture.
7. Take alcohol consumption into account.
While alcohol can be a common feature of many office parties, it’s important to remember that not everyone drinks or feels comfortable around alcohol.
Remember that not everyone drinks, and some employees may choose not to drink. Respect their choices and ensure they feel included and valued at the celebration.
Here are a few ways to promote inclusivity when it comes to alcohol consumption at office celebrations:
Provide non-alcoholic options.
Have non-alcoholic drinks available for those who choose not to drink or may not be able to drink due to religious or health reasons, like sodas, juices, or mocktails.
Encourage responsible drinking.
Remind employees to drink in moderation and never to drink and drive. Consider limiting the number of drinks per person or closing the bar after a certain time. There could also be cab vouchers or designated driver services to ensure everyone gets home safely.
8. Make attendance optional.
While holiday parties can be a great way to boost morale and bring people together, not everyone may feel comfortable attending or may have other commitments.
By making the celebration voluntary, it shows that you respect the autonomy of your employees and understand that not everyone wants to participate in holiday parties. This can be particularly important for employees who may not celebrate the same holidays or have different beliefs.
It’s also essential to communicate to your employees that there will be no negative consequences for those who choose not to attend.
PROMOTING INCLUSIVITY DURING OFFICE CELEBRATIONS ISN’T COMPLETE WITHOUT A DIVERSE WORKFORCE PLAN
Improving hiring practices to foster a more diverse workforce is the first significant step towards advancing your diversity and inclusion efforts. At Focus People, we recognize that each individual is unique. Therefore, we ensure that our hiring processes are free from intentional discrimination.
Partnering with us means you can confidently overcome obstacles to cultivating a diverse and fair workforce.
Let us help you create a more welcoming and inclusive workplace where all employees feel valued and celebrated.