The holiday season is upon us, and workplaces are doing their best to encourage festivity! Industrial spaces need holiday cheer as well. From decorated trees, to banding together to help a local charity, there are countless (socially distanced) ideas to help celebrate the holidays during 2020!
Here are 4 of our favorite ways to help industrial workers enjoy the holiday season:
- Create space for holiday diversity:
The winter holiday can be full of cheer from many different holidays! One tip for inclusivity and diversity is to have fun by celebrating all holidays! Multiple religious holidays are observed between mid-November & the beginning of January. While these holidays may celebrate different things, the spirit of the season often remains the same; appreciation for the things we have, spending time with family. Rather than shying away, embrace it! This is a great time for everyone to broaden their horizons and learn about other religions and their holidays. A few things to keep in mind:
- It takes year-round-work to create a culture of inclusivity among employees. Take an interest in your workers’ holiday plans, and invite (but don’t push) them to share about their personal traditions. Celebrate the things you have in common, and allow space for differences.
- Ensure that end-of-the-year festivities are not specific to any one religion. If offering food for employees and their families, do not forget to offer vegetarian, non-pork and non-dairy options for those who follow specific diets for religious reasons.
- If planning an office (Zoom) party, put people of different religions on the party-planning committee, and talk to employees about the type of celebration they are comfortable participating in. Most people are open to any type of generic celebrations! In 2020, we need every reason to celebrate!
- Decorate, decorate, decorate!
Many of us spend at least half of our waking hours at our place of work. Because of this, it makes sense to add a little seasonal decor to the office. Even industrial spaces can benefit from some added flair during the holidays!
Be mindful of diversity in the workplace when decorating. It is a good idea to use a mix of decorations for all the holidays, or stick to some neutral, snowflakes-and-winter-weather themes. Winter plants such as holly, fir and pine are a great way to bring natural beauty inside while adding a little fresh air! Remember- with all the fun of decorating comes an increased need to vigilant about safety. Keep OSHA regulations in mind when decorating the workplace, paying particular attention to:
- Trip hazards
- Combustible materials
- Exit route or sprinkler obstructions
- Lighting safety
- Host a (Virtual) celebration.
The end of the year is a perfect time to appreciate your employees and honor the bonds you share. In 2020, there are a few limitations on how we can celebrate, so it may take a little extra creativity! Some of our favorite ideas include:
- Host a virtual platform where employees can play games together
- Make a charitable donation as a company or participating in (socially distanced) community service.
- Host an optional employee Zoom dinner - this is a great way to create space for diversity and learn about others.
- Put on a virtual gift exchange- Secret Santa is always a fan favorite. In 2020, the exchanges need to be non- contact. Choose a small dollar limit, and use websites like Amazon to facilitate a gift exchange for Secret Santa. Everyone can reveal their gifts and guess together online!
- Allow employees to take time off.
The winter holidays before 2020 involved seasonal travel and time spent with extended family. In 2020, it’s still critically important to support your workers by giving them the flexibility to take vacation days. Offering floating holidays as part of your paid holidays policy can give people the freedom to have a fulfilling holiday season.
Perhaps you find yourself in a position where you just cannot give everyone the time off that they deserve during this season. If that’s the case, there are a few things you can do for your employees to make working through the holidays less burdensome:
- Provide a meal or a special snack to those who may be missing a meal with their families.
- Give your employees mini-breaks with the option of taking an hour or two off throughout the day. This will allow your vital workers to make an appearance at family gatherings or religious observances.
- Help your team understand the importance of their work - and do not forget to say, “Thank you!”
Holidays: A season for strengthening bonds
Leading a team can be challenging, and this is especially true during the 2020 holidays. With some warm focused attention on your employees, your environment, and your culture, you can help all workers enjoy their holidays!