Australia celebrates cultural diversity and this should extend into the workplace, especially as we head into the festive season.
About 10 million Australians were either born overseas or have at least one parent born overseas. We come from more than 300 ancestries and speak more than 400 languages.*
Diversity of culture refers to inherent differences in attributes such as gender, age, ethnicity, race, cultural background and sexual orientation, to name a few. But also refers to other ways in which we are all different, such as marital status, life experience, socio-economic background and religious beliefs.
While celebrating Christmas in Australian workplaces is the traditional approach to end-of-year festivities, as we broaden our minds towards diversity, we need to also keep in mind that not every colleague may share in the celebration of Christmas, particularly the religious aspect of this celebration.
Tips for celebrating as a diverse workforce:
Celebrate the year’s efforts with an ‘End-of-Year’ party, rather than a Christmas party.
Decorate the office with festive decorations like tinsel and holly but avoid religious iconography like nativity scenes, angels and baby Jesus.
Lean away from terminology like ‘Kris Kringle’ and find a fresh way to enjoy gift giving.
If you don’t celebrate Christmas yourself, find a meaningful way to participate in your workplace celebrations.
Talk about cultural diversity in the workplace and appreciate other celebrations to build stronger workplace relationships.
The end-of-the year can be a time to celebrate workplace diversity – as a diverse workplace is one that is richer in experience, perspective and knowledge. Studies have found that diverse teams are better able to solve complex problems, exhibit a higher level of creativity and a broader thought process.**
**Information from Diversity Council Australia http://www.dca.org.au/
Train your employees before the end of year party
Learning Seat recently released a course called ‘Appropriate behaviour at work parties’. This course reminds workers of what is regarded as appropriate behaviour at work parties, what the definition of the workplace is, what laws apply, and what the potential consequences of breaching these laws at work parties can be. Click here to view more information about Appropriate behaviour at work parties.