As an expert in Cultural Leadership with decades of experience in this space and I’ve observed a recurring issue during the holiday season within workplaces, particularly concerning how employers approach the celebration of special holidays like Christmas.
Australia’s demographic landscape is evolving, with over 26 million people and increasing religious diversity. Notably, while Christianity remains the largest religion (43.9%), the fastest-growing group is those identifying with no religion (38.9%). Millennials, forming a significant portion, contribute heavily to this trend. This shift in demographics provides an opportunity for businesses to enhance productivity by acknowledging and respecting diverse religious preferences among staff. Could your employees be more motivated by celebrating Lunar New Year rather than Christmas? Moreover, it’s crucial to recognise that for some, Christmas may evoke sadness rather than joy.
Recent studies show that over 50% of millennials consider workplace diversity an essential factor when choosing employment. Furthermore, within this age group, 35% identify as religiously unaffiliated. Understanding and catering to these diverse perspectives not only aligns with societal trends but also positively impacts employee morale and engagement. Are you running the risk of excluding a generation with your workplace policies, language that you use to market and sell or simply by letting them feel less motivated and engaged?
Call To Action:
Review Your Leave Policies: Take a closer look at your leave policies to ensure they accommodate diverse religious celebrations. Consider allowing employees flexibility to schedule leave around holidays that hold personal significance for them.
Revise Newsletter Communication: Evaluate the language and content of your internal communications, particularly newsletters. Language that assumes everyone celebrates Christmas may inadvertently alienate a significant portion of your workforce. Ensure your messages are inclusive and considerate of diverse perspectives.
Enhance Inclusivity Practices: Actively work on improving overall inclusivity within your organisation. This involves fostering an environment where individuals from different cultural and religious backgrounds feel valued and respected. Seek feedback from employees and implement initiatives that promote a more inclusive workplace culture.