Mar 25th 2021

Fun ways to celebrate diverse cultures in the workplace

It’s no secret that a strong workplace comes from the inclusion of diverse cultures. A diverse workplace offers a unique range of skill sets, experiences and backgrounds. The benefits of diversity can be seen in a recent study that showed companies who take an inclusive approach to diversity are 1.7 times more likely to become innovation leaders in their market.

Whilst placing a focus on this in your hiring process can create a diverse team on paper, the real power comes from leveraging this diversity to create a productive, inclusive workplace culture. 

Here is how companies can better celebrate the cultures of a diverse workforce and make each person at the company feel truly included. 

5 ways to celebrate diverse cultures 

Encourage educational opportunities 

Education is one of the most effective ways of driving awareness about diversity and inclusion and ensuring you promote it in your workplace. It helps deepen people’s understanding of others and reduce unconscious bias in your company. All team members, including your management, will benefit from this. 

How to do it

  • You can bring in an external educational source who can set up interactive workshops that are both insightful and interesting, highlighting areas such as confirmation bias. 
  • Arrange away days to attend external events that cover diversity and inclusion as a topic whilst also creating a team bonding opportunity.
  • Have people come in and do talks on their own personal experiences with discrimination to open people’s eyes to the importance of this topic. 

Learn at lunch talks 

You can provide everyone with a platform to share their cultures and traditions through lunchtime talks. It is an informal way to promote internal communications, educate people and give employees the chance to get to know one another on a more personal level. For example, at Tempo we run CuriosiT talks which provides a way for everyone to share their passions or culture. 

How to do it

  • Allocate a slot once a month for someone in the team to share their own traditions and culture.
  • Share this with the team and encourage people to get involved to create an open discussion.
  • Get the person who did the talk to share the recording or presentation afterwards for later access or anyone that missed it.

Host diversity days 

Celebrations don’t have to surround a major event or holiday to provide great employee experiences. You can create your own traditions by holding diversity days involving everyone to encourage an inclusive workplace culture. These days can serve as valuable opportunities for others to recognise team diversity and gain a greater appreciation for the diverse cultures of their coworkers. 

How to do it

  • Set up a potluck style event where everyone in the office brings in their favourite food or a traditional dish from their culture for the team to enjoy and celebrate.
  • Art is one of the most effective ways for people to share aspects of their culture or history. Schedule a company visit to an exhibition or a museum dedicated to a specific culture to explore the diverse backgrounds of others.
  • Language is a great way to truly immerse yourself in another culture. Have a day that is dedicated to learning the basics of a foreign language. 

Develop a multicultural calendar 

Every culture has its own religious holidays or special events that they celebrate, such as Chinese New Year or Ramadan. And just because not everyone celebrates the same special days, doesn’t mean you can’t take the time to acknowledge and appreciate the days that matter to your colleagues. This will go a long way in increasing overall employee satisfaction at your company.

How to do it 

  • Get your human resources team to put together a calendar to make sure these different dates are known well in advance. 
  • Plan festive activities to celebrate the event, making sure to get the whole team involved.
  • Accommodate time off for the employees who personally celebrate this date within their culture. 

Create a culture focused bulletin board

To keep diversity front and centre in everyone’s minds, dedicate a bulletin board or wall to promote cultural diversity in the workplace. It is an inclusive way for people to share their cultures without them having to get up and talk about it (an alternative to the lunch talks for those that don’t enjoy public speaking).  

How to do it 

  • Get your employees to share pictures or information on the board that promotes their culture, background, or lifestyle.
  • Have employees post information about an upcoming holiday, including its background and what it means to them personally. This will tie in nicely with your multicultural calendar and diversity days.
  • Educate every new joiner on the significance of the board, explaining how they can get involved. 

Embracing a diverse culture in your workplace is beneficial both for improving employee engagement and happiness as well as the overall success of your company. Too often companies think just by hiring diversely, they have ticked all the boxes. But it’s the efforts you put in after that help encourage an inclusive culture that celebrates everyone that counts. When done correctly, celebrating the unique traits that make your team special can help employees find common ground and establish an inclusive work environment where everyone can thrive.

For more information, head over to our dedicated diversity and inclusion hub.