Holidays to celebrate…. just ask

Q: I am a new manager. I have a very diverse team. Some are young,
some are not young. Some are of different races and religions. I have no
idea what we should be celebrating and what we shouldn’t. How do I make
sure everyone feels included? I have not seen this in my new
supervisors manual!

A: You will do well as a supervisor. You are already showing signs
that you want to create an environment where everyone feels welcome and
part of the team. A good sign!

I would not necessarily ask everyone to disclose their religious
beliefs because some may find that intrusive. However, I would ask
everyone about what holidays may like to celebrate. Or would they even
want to celebrate holidays and birthdays at work? Some don’t relish the
idea of the black balloons and the “over the hill” sign tacked to the
wall of their cubicle.

I think many think simple celebrations at work are fine. A cake or a
pot luck luncheon. We all just have to be careful about food allergies.

Some may prefer not to celebrate holidays or special events. I think that also has to be respected.

I think you should ask. Ask your employees for ideas, thoughts, likes
and dislikes. You won’t be able to please everyone all the time, but
people, in general, like to be asked.

Good luck in your new role!

Pattie Hunt Sinacole is a human resources expert and works for First Beacon Group in Hopkinton, an HR consulting firm. She contributes weekly to Jobs and the Boston Sunday Globe Money & Careers section.