Celebrating cultural holidays at work allows us to take a step back from the conventional and really champion diversity, inclusivity and the people we work with.
Picking which cultural days to celebrate
Rally together a diverse team, it could just be just two people or more depending on the size of your organisation. They are your party committee. Their task is to create a calendar that reflects the people in your organisation. It should shine a light on the celebrations that matter to them.
Whilst some team members may be more forthcoming with ideas, others might feel hesitant or nervous. We’d suggest running an anonymous survey to ask colleagues to share the days they feel are important and any ideas of how to celebrate them.
Start small and build your calendar up over time. If you’re on the committee and don’t feel confident knowing how to mark the occasion, ask your team. Don’t feel the pressure to just ‘know’ what to do – reach out for help. The entire purpose of this is to be inclusive after all.
To get you started, here are 4 culture holidays we think are worth celebrating and ideas of how to mark the event.
Fundraising for LGBTQ+ charities is a great way to make LGBTQ+ staff feel supported at work. How about a day of colour? You can incorporate as much or as little of it into your outfit as you like. A colourful tie? Belt? A pin? Or a full multi-coloured suit?! Too much? Well, fashion is subjective so… Everyone throws in a few quid; it sparks conversations about supporting the LGBTQ+ community and raises money for a great cause.
International Women’s Day
Why not make a week out of this one and introduce an interesting lunch and learn each day. One session could be mentoring with female leaders in your organisation or industry. Another could be a debate discussing gender within your sector. You could invite an inspirational panel in to talk about their experiences. Women who’ve faced adversity and overcome it. Whether that means conquering Everest or the Patriarchy. If you’re in London, WOW (Women of the World) Foundation hosts a series of events around this day, why not take a team outing?
National volunteering day
A fantastic opportunity to show the people who go above and beyond how appreciated they are.
We might be biased, but honestly, we don’t think there is anything better than a big ol’ slice of cake. If your volunteers like the limelight why not ask them to do a 5-minute presentation about their activity over a slice? If they’re more shy, you could include their achievements in the office memo alongside the announcement that there is cake in the kitchen. It’s an inspirational (and delicious) day to celebrate.
Black history month
To celebrate Black History, why not create a gift-giving opportunity? Except, forget ‘Secret Santa’ and think ‘Open Oprah’. The aim is to get a gift for your Open Oprah from Black-owned business only. This way people get a gift, whilst also sharing and recommending black business they know and love. There are so many amazing black-owned businesses out there and the more people who know about them, the more people there are to support them.
Even though these celebrations are supposed to be inclusive and enjoyable, remember that not everyone likes the same things. The events should have a voluntary nature about them. Forced fun is anything but fun.
Welcome feedback with open ears. Negative feedback is simply an opportunity to better the experience for others. It’s a chance you wouldn’t otherwise have had if that person didn’t voice their opinion.
Lastly, be forgiving, everyone makes mistakes, just try and make sure everyone feels heard, and if you have a question – ASK! We’re all human. Humans who value the people around us… and cake.