Improve employee wellbeing by celebrating cultural events in the workplace
Updated: Nov 7, 2022
With Christmas fast approaching, I am starting to get excited of the approaching celebration as I know that time with family is just around the corner. Although not for everyone, for me Christmas is a time of happiness and indulgence, is part of my heritage and is marker on my cultural calendar each year, that brings me a lot of joy.
I have been privileged that in every job I have had, my bosses have been proactive in celebrating major holidays such as Christmas and Easter, and I have learned to expect parties, and general social conversation that comes with honouring these events.
I am not alone in experiencing this ‘feel good’ effect that comes with celebration.
Research shows that celebrations release chemicals in the brain such as serotonin, which is produced naturally by the body and controls your mood and is responsible for happiness. Celebrating things that are important to us, and others can have a big impact on the brain and overall mental health.
When we celebrate regularly, we experience temporary boosts in our mental wellbeing and overall mood, and as a daily habit, we can make those mental health boosts long-lasting. (Psychology Today).
Why celebration is important for inclusion
Celebration brings about a strong connection, and a sense of belonging for people rallying around to join the fun.
If we are happy and have a sense of satisfaction that comes with collective celebration, it can make our teams and organisations stronger. Regular celebration of cultural and socially conscious events is a great way to stay contented and connected in our new remote environments.
We understand it is near impossible to mark everything each year, but you can choose a few that are relevant to your workplace, to make them a tradition and part of your own organisational heritage.
Make your team bonds stronger
We don’t need to look much further than the recent Jubilee celebrations in the UK to see how celebration can lift our spirits and help us create a bond and talking point.
As you look forward to 2023, here are a few questions to support you in auditing your cultural celebrations:
What do you currently celebrate? #
Are the events you mark throughout the year inclusive and reflective of your staff or customers?
Do you know what your people want to celebrate and what means the most to them and makes them happy?
Being curious about the importance of celebration to others is important.
Asking these questions and offering more opportunities to celebrate cultural and socially conscious events also have the added benefit of being educational and improving visibility of people of different identities and backgrounds that make up your workplace.
Increase loyalty and improve your reputation
If you offer the opportunity for your workforce to celebrate a wider variety of cultural or socially conscious dates, it sends a message of commitment to champion inclusion. It identifies that it is important to you, and your organisation, and that people of different cultures or identities and seen and valued.
There are so many opportunities to celebrate in the workplace in 2023.
Whether its an email to mark a religious holiday, or an event to celebrate the contributions of people from the LGBTQI+ community, it can make a big difference to someone’s sense of happiness and wellbeing to have these opportunities to celebrate marked.
Take time to think about how important celebration is for you personally, and how you can extend that feeling, through simple acts of honouring others, and see the benefits that this brings to your team dynamics and their wellbeing,
Looking for a 2023 Diversity Calendar for your workplace?
Glaser, J.E. (2015, December). Celebration time. Psychology Today. Retrieved from https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/conversational-intelligence/201512/celebration-time