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Inclusion in event planning is about making sure you take everyone into consideration. If it sounds like a big job, it is! These tips can support you in creating a wonderfully inclusive team holiday celebration.
Now is the time of year where people leaders start to look ahead to end of year celebrations and employee acknowledgements. As we head into the fall and winter, planning a wonderful holiday event for employees is a top priority for many HR leaders and professionals. It can be daunting to try to plan an event that truly centers inclusivity and offers enjoyment for all the diverse members of your organization, but the culture and event planning experts at Garden Streets have your back! In this article, we highlight three top challenges and our favorite tips to address them when it comes to creating an inclusive team holiday celebration.
Having an inclusive event is critical to make everyone feel like they belong, especially at holiday events where the majority of the team are present and expected to participate. Being fully inclusive means considering a variety of factors, from issues of diversity and representation, to access considerations for remote employees. It means that newer employees feel welcomed generously into beloved traditions, and employees who have spent more time with the company see new traditions and ideas for what they are - an opportunity to continue building your culture (rather than feeling alienated). No matter what, all of your employees should feel enthusiastically welcomed!
Inclusion in event planning is about making sure you take everyone into consideration. If it sounds like a big job, it is! As a former HR professional and current event planning expert, here are some concrete tips to get you started planning the inclusive holiday event of your dreams!
At this point in the pandemic, the majority of companies have instituted some level of optional return-to-work or hybrid schedule. With holidays around the corner and COVID cases on rise, the hybrid model is likely to remain until at least the end of the year. This raises a challenge of how to plan an event that will work for a hybrid team, without breaking the bank. Even if you had a budget to plan a separate event for remote and in-person team members, segregating the team sends the wrong message, especially for end-of-year events, which are all about coming together to celebrate your team as a whole!
Creating a hybrid event that works for your whole team is possible - it just takes a little extra planning:
Planning an interest-based event will help build excitement and encourage participation, and it will also show your team that you care about their interests and preferences. For example, a cocktail party has been a go-to event choice for a long time for holiday celebrations, but it can represent a lot of social pressure on employees, especially if they have been spending time working remotely and don’t know each other well or simply do not drink alcohol Planning an interest-based event like a trivia competition, a cooking or crafting class, or a scavenger hunt gives people something to talk about and connect over, which lessens that social burden and inspires more organic connection.
Planning an interest-based event is a great way to create memorable experiences for your team and create new traditions for your company. Here are some tips to get you started:
However you use it, a survey is a powerful tool for empowering your employees to become part of the decision making process around events and celebrations. A survey can also serve as an early source of internal marketing for your event, getting employees excited even before the event is fully planned.
There are as many ways to celebrate a year as there are companies. Following these steps will help to make sure your end-of-year celebrations reflect all the best parts of your company’s unique culture. Start by understanding the interests and needs of your employees and with intentionality and some crowdsourced help, you’ll have a wonderful inclusive event that your whole team can be proud of!
If you have any questions or want some help planning your holiday celebrations, reach out to Garden Streets for a consultation!