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Christmas parties – making this season inclusive for all

christmas party table

Christmas party season is upon us, and many companies will be organising their celebrations for the festive season. To be truly inclusive, it’s important to consider your employees’ needs in all you do. Here are some things to reflect on this year ahead of your Christmas party…

Consider other religious beliefs

Many of your colleagues and clients may not celebrate Christmas, so it’s important to consider all religions, faiths, and beliefs. Instead, use this as an opportunity to thank your colleagues for all their hard work and dedication throughout the year. This will help to make everyone feel valued and reflect on their achievements. You should also consider that for various reasons, many do not consume alcohol. Make sure that your whole party isn’t centered around booze, and people’s drink preferences are respected. Rather than one large party, you could have different activities or events so that there is something for everyone, like a team dinner or a creative activity!

Cost of living

Many are feeling the pressure of the increased cost of living expenses and if travel, food, drinks, etc aren’t reimbursed or covered, they may not be able to attend your celebration. If there is a raffle or the chance to win prizes, you could offer food hampers, days out or a donation to a charity of their choice – anything that can be seen as thoughtful and considerate to a person’s situation.

Think about colleagues who have particular needs

Is the venue accessible for wheelchair users? Are there quiet rooms or spaces for people who might feel overstimulated? It’s important to ensure the space for your event is welcoming and your colleagues feel comfortable.

Christmas isn’t for everyone

For many, this time of year isn’t easy and some struggle to ‘get into the festive spirit’ due to trauma, mental health and other personal reasons. There are lots of traumatic world events occurring at the moment, and many may not be able to spend time with their families. It’s important your colleagues understand that attending is optional, and they don’t feel overly pressured – no one should be ‘singled out’ if they can’t or simply don’t want to go. You could allow your colleagues to bring a friend or relative to help them feel more comfortable and supported.

Consider your company values

Overall, your Christmas party is a great opportunity for colleagues to feel valued and immersed in your company’s culture. Think about what values are important to you and the organisation and ensure these are represented during your celebration. It’s also okay to set out the expected standards of behaviour to ensure everyone can enjoy themselves.

We hope that however you are celebrating this year, you feel valued, and can look forward to a positive start to 2024!

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