Panelists are asked to share how their faith
relates to their work.
Some might fear con;icts that could erupt over
discussions of religions, but such conversations
can help dispel myths and stereotypes, Johnson
says, if conducted with mutual respect.
If the workplace culture discourages employees
from talking about their faith, he says, “they’ll
only seek people of their own faith, and they’ll
worry about people who are di;erent from them,
and distrust will creep in.”
Another thing to keep in mind: 21 percent of
the U.S. population reports no religious identity
or faith tradition, including atheists and agnos-
tics, according to Gallup. You can be inclusive of
these individuals by building awareness around
recognition days that focus on human rights,
Fowler says. And make it clear that it’s OK for
them to opt out of any events.
O;er ;oating holidays. A good way to show
employees that you value their beliefs is to o;er
;oating holidays so they can take time o; for religious observances that are meaningful to them
throughout the year, Peterson says. Make sure
that supervisors respect those holidays and are
not asking employees to respond to e-mail on
these days, for example, he says. Only 30 percent of employers now o;er paid ;oating holidays, according to a SHRM report on 2017 holiday schedules.
Employers with more than 15 employees
must grant requests for time o; for religious
observances not listed on the company’s holiday
schedule, unless it would cause an undue hardship, according to the U.S. Equal Employment
Invite feedback. Provide a way for workers
to o;er feedback anonymously. If they choose
to leave their names, make sure you follow up
with them to show you value their suggestions
and explain whether you will make changes for
“Whatever you want to do, give people a way
to respond [so that] they won’t feel punished if
they give honest feedback,” Peterson says. “One
of the ways to make someone feel invisible is to
not give them a voice.”
Be forgiving. Don’t be too hard on yourself.
“A diverse and inclusive organization is not one
that never makes a mistake,” Peterson says.
Rather, it’s one that has people who respond inclusively when things don’t go well.
Dori Meinert is senior writer/editor for HR
CELEBRATE IN JANUARY
We have opted for a New Year gathering after
the main holiday season has wound down.
We acknowledge the previous year’s accomplishments and speak about our future goals.
We usually schedule the event for the second
week of January, after everyone is back from
vacation and settled into a normal routine. We
hold it after work at an offsite location.
Our president speaks, and we play a video
highlighting our victories for the past year. We
also show photos of employees at work so we
can reminisce together.
We celebrate with food, drinks, music,
dancing and games. A favorite game is “Staff
Member Bingo,” which requires players to
collect the signatures of other staff members
who meet the criteria, such as someone who
can do a handstand.
—Kristen Stine, human resources director,
PETA Foundation, Norfolk, Va.
OFFER FLOATING HOLIDAYS
At WVU Medicine, we will offer a floating holiday to our 17,000 employees starting in 2019.
In addition to six standard paid holidays (New
Year’s Day, Memorial Day, July Fourth, Labor
Day, Thanksgiving and Christmas), workers
will be offered one extra paid day off each
year to use at their discretion. This gives
employees the flexibility to recognize any day
based on their individual preference.
—Alicia Jade Martin, HR customer service
specialist, WVU Medicine,
HOST CHARITY EVENTS
In addition to the usual festivals celebrated at
work, we participate in programs like planting
saplings and making donations to retirement
homes and orphanages. That’s the way we
share joy with others in a society-inclusive
—Swati Sinha, self-employed
HR consultant, New Delhi, India
WAYS TO MAKE