Christmas parties - How to ensure inclusivity and diversity this season

The Aspire to Learn team is a culturally diverse organisation. We have a mix of faiths, ethnicity, age and gender within our team. Because of this, we are naturally inclusive and aware of people’s faiths and cultures, particularly when recruiting Apprentices and mentoring them through their training.

As all of the UK missed out on the celebrations last year, many of us are really looking forward to celebrating with colleagues, families and friends. As usual, the Christmas TV adverts have been running since October. But it’s probably now that Businesses will be retrieving their Christmas decorations from the back-office cupboards and planning their Christmas party.

When looking for our Christmas blog, I came across a great article from Inclusive Employers – source below; it made me smile and think a bit of what Christmas means to everyone. And since we have recently put out an Aspire Asks survey about Christmas parties on LinkedIn. I thought I’d share some extracts.

When it comes to the jolly season, not everyone will be celebrating or traditionally observing Christmas - that doesn’t mean that people won’t appreciate and look forward to some of the seasonal rituals, such as hanging up decorations and gathering with family, friends or colleagues.

Still, diversity and inclusion in the workplace is something that employers might want to consider when organising Christmas events to avoid making assumptions about how people celebrate or feel about Christmas.

Christmas parties are an extension of the workplace

In the UK, we know how to put on a Christmas party. But perhaps remind everyone that events are an extension of the workplace and that the Equality act still applies. Remind them of the responsibilities and behavioural expectations, particularly if you are organising an event with other businesses.

Most Christmas parties involve alcohol. Ensure that all your staff are notified that non-alcoholic drinks are available and that any dietary requirements for health, religious or lifestyle reasons are as well.

Christmas parties are not for everyone; some people may not feel safe or comfortable being in large crowds (especially with the COVID pandemic). They might have child or carer responsibilities, let your teams know that they are not obligated to attend, and perhaps consider an alternative for those not attending.

Christmas is not always a ‘magical time of the year’ for everyone

Emotional and financial worries don’t disappear at Christmas. Many employees might be living alone, having travelled to the UK to work. They may be new to how the UK traditionally celebrates and may be missing those close to them.

This year more than most, there is the need for celebration, particularly if your business has survived the last two years and your teams are still with you.  You may have new employees in your company, and Christmas is an opportunity to bring your teams together to bond and to thank them for their hard work. But it is also an opportunity to remind everyone of your company’s values, which will go a long way to making the seasonal celebrations great for everyone.

Meantime, Ziggy, the Aspire to Learn team, wish you a very Merry Christmas. Thank you so much for being so supportive this year, and we all look forward to helping you hire new talent for your business in the New Year.

Source: Inclusive Employers, who have produced a more in-depth fact sheet

Let us know what you are doing this Christmas by voting on our ‘Aspire Asks’ LinkedIn, or follow us on our social pages .



02 Dec 2021