(Guest Blog by Kari Heistad)
Understanding and embracing our diverse workplace is a powerful (and oftentimes daunting) concept. Cultural difference should be celebrated! Here are a few tips you can immediately use in your workplace.
Tip: Customs Around Food and Eating
In many cultures, dietary practices are followed year-round, independent of religious holidays. For instance, while most Hindus are vegetarian, some followers eat meat, but generally all avoid beef.
Some Jews, especially members of the Orthodox faith, observe kosher dietary laws, which dictate that pork and shellfish should not be eaten and that other meat and dairy products should not be
prepared or eaten together.
Buddhists generally do not use drugs or alcohol, and many practice vegetarianism.
Muslims may eat meat as long as it is not pork and that it meets halal dietary standards.
When planning office celebrations involving food, insure that you have food options that accommodate those with food restrictions.
Tip: Connecting to Something Larger
During the holiday season, people often experience the need to connect to something larger than themselves. The link sought may be to family, friends, the local community, people in need, or to all of these.
Unfortunately, the holidays also place heavy demands on people’s time and resources, often leaving them physically and financially exhausted rather than emotionally and spiritually fulfilled.
Having a supportive company culture can help ease the stress of the season for your employees. To create an environment of support, remind managers to practice extra patience with each other and their teams.
Be sensitive during the holiday seasons to both the potential stress level employees feel and their desire to connect to something larger. Explore whether employees are interested in reaching out to the local community to help those in need.
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