Christmas is coming, employees are excited, Christmas decorations start appearing. The Christmas party is being organised and the chatter in the ladies corner is about buying a new dress for the party and the men discuss the pending bonus! OK it may not be like that in your office but I know its the reality in some.
With all the excitement going on during this period we often neglect those who do not celebrate Christmas. Those of other faiths, agnostic or those who may just have personal troubles and feel Christmas is the worst thing that could happened.
What is the organisations role and responsibility to those who do not wish to celebrate Christmas? If you have a strong Diversity and Inclusion strategy you may have already thought about this. Diversity and Inclusion practises play an important part in ensuring that nobody feels isolated, discriminated against or devalued because of the race, sexual orientation, ability/disability etc.
Employee networks are a good way to champion Diversity and Inclusion. In these groups, members can choose to create another option for themselves that can make them feel a part of the festive cheer without feeling they have to conform. It may however, be their choice not to be involved at all, so its the organisations responsibility to be accepting of that choice and encourage positive communication.
What about those in trouble? It is very difficult for an organisation when you are unaware of the issues that may be going on in an employees life. There are not may organisations that can afford to have an occupational health department or onsite counsellor. We rely rightly or wrongly on line managers to be receptive to the employees. That is were emotional intelligence can play a part. Taking the time to understand the emotional drivers of your employees can help to identify indicators that may point to issues. Equally using emotional intelligence to inform your people strategy can help to get the best out of your employees without causing undue stress.
So if you are making arrangements for Christmas in your company, take the time to examine if you have been considerate of ALL your employees. Watch out for the ones sitting quietly in the corner they may need most of your attention during Christmas.