Are Your Christmas Celebrations As Inclusive As They Should Be?

By Melissa Coutts December 03, 2021 | Posted in Our Blog

By Melissa Coutts December 03, 2021

It’s the happiest time of the year!

Or, at least, it is if Christmas is something that you celebrate.

Nobody’s saying that you and your business shouldn’t celebrate and enjoy Christmas.

Ignore those horrible clickbait articles trying to stir up disunity by claiming that there are forces at work trying to ‘ban Christmas’ because it’s offensive to certain sections of society.

Of course you should decorate the workplace with tinsel, listen to cheesy Christmas tunes, have a great Christmas party and go out for festive drinks with your teams.

But just remember that not everyone is as into Christmas as you are.

And with that being so, maybe it’s worth giving some thought to whether your work Christmas celebrations are as inclusive as they might be?

Read on to learn how to keep everyone in the workplace happy at Christmas.

Not Everyone In The UK Celebrates Christmas

The UK is a largely harmonious, multicultural country where everyone is free to celebrate their respective faiths and festivals in the manner they’re accustomed to.

And while it might be tempting to simply assume that the UK is overwhelmingly Christian and that only a minority don’t celebrate Christmas, the reality is startlingly different.

Yes, Christianity remains the largest religion in the UK. But the results of the most recent UK census showed that only just over half of the UK population identifies as Christian, while an increasing number of people (more than 25%) say that they are agnostic or atheist.

Add in the fact that the rest of the population is made up of people that subscribe to other faiths – Judaism, Islam and Hinduism, for instance – and it’s apparent that fewer and fewer people celebrate Christmas in the religious sense.

So, celebrate Christmas at work by all means – but maybe think about toning down overtly religious elements that might alienate significant proportions of your workforce.

Not Everyone Wants To Get Mortalled

OK, we like a drink in the UK, and few places more so than in our beloved North East.

It’s only natural that alcohol is going to feature pretty heavily in your workplace festivities – WAHEY!

Nobody’s saying that you shouldn’t have work Christmas parties and lunches where people let their hair down with a drink. Just try not to make it all about booze, eh.

Spare a thought for colleagues whose beliefs – religious or otherwise – preclude them from drinking.

Some people on your team might have difficult historic relationships with alcohol. Others might feel nauseous around it.

It’s a case of just being sensible and making sure that everyone – and by that, we really do mean everyone, including those that want to enjoy a few bevvies – feels comfortable.

Be Fair With Your Festive Fare

The food’s one of the very best things about Christmas, right?

Not just in terms of the big Christmas Day dinner and Boxing Day leftovers, but also all the indulgent treats during the festive season as a whole.

But just remember that not everyone in your company or team will be able to eat traditional fare or certain products, whether that’s because of their beliefs or dietary requirements (e.g. vegetarian; gluten free; vegan; diabetic).

Bear those people in mind when you’re bringing festive treats into the workplace, so that everyone has plenty of delicious things to scoff their faces with.

Recruitrite - Christmas

Include Everyone!

Christmas is a time for giving and sharing – and that means also including people with different beliefs in your festivities.

Think of it like a kid’s birthday party: it’s not nice to exclude people from those, so don’t leave out people whose beliefs don’t enable them to celebrate Christmas in the traditional way.

For instance, we recently heard a heartwarming story from another business headquartered in Darlington that the lovely people in their India office sent the UK team gifts for Diwali.

A really kind gesture out of the blue that went down incredibly well with the Darlington team – and it didn’t matter one jot that there wasn’t a single Sikh, Jain, Hindu or Buddhist in the UK office. It was an act of kindness and giving, not an invitation to convert to another religion!

What Do You Do For Other Religious Festivals?

It’s also important to think about the other major religious festivals throughout the year, and how you mark them.

As we’ve established, the majority of people in the UK are Christian and it’s only natural that most UK businesses will focus on celebrating Christian festivals like Christmas and Easter.

But, in the spirit of inclusivity, should businesses with a diverse workforce not also consider doing something to – where relevant and appropriate – help their colleagues mark the likes of Diwali, Eid and Hanukkah? If only in some small but sincere way?

And before you say it, this isn’t being ‘woke’!

As inclusive employers, organisations need to understand and be sensitive to their employees’ varied beliefs (religious or otherwise). And modern workforces must be aware of the need to respect each others’ beliefs to prevent conflict and discrimination.

Really, it’s all about creating a harmonious workplace that reflects a diverse 21st society where people are tolerant of and kind to one another. Click here if you want to learn why having a diverse workplace improves productivity and profitability.

We love Christmas at Recruitrite! And we’re also very proud to be a diverse team made up of great people who want nothing more than for others to be happy and successful in the workplace

If sounds like the right kind of recruitment partner for your business, then give us a call on 01325 734 860 or email talk@recruiteriteuk.com

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