Why Celebrating Festivals in the Workplace is Good for Business

Christmas Jumpers - Why Celebrating Holidays and Festivals in the Workplace is Good for Business

October 2019

Why Celebrating Festivals in the Workplace is Good for Business

Though it’s s a potential hazard when there’s a whole calendar full of special days and occasions to celebrate – embracing holidays and festivals in the workplace is good for business.

From national flip flop day (it’s the second Friday in June in case you were wondering) to international talk like a pirate day (19thSeptember) there’s a day for everything you can probably think of and  others you may not even have dream about.  

Flip flops [- Is the workplace the right place to mark holidays and festival days?

Many of these are of course modern inventions, but there’s also the long-established celebration days such as Mothering Sunday and Hallow’een. And before you dismiss that one as an American aberration, stop and think for a moment about how the thing got there. Born Again Swindonian explains all in this blog, covering the history of Hallowe’en.

Is the workplace the right place to mark holidays and festival days?

But is the workplace even the right place to mark holidays and festival days such as these? Well – not all of them no – of course not. But in principle – yes – absolutely.  Because celebrating holidays and festivals in the workplace is good for business.

Encourage motivation and team building

As an employer, consider the importance of following traditions to the human psyche. You want motivated and productive staff right? Such a team is responsible for the success of your organization so why wouldn’t you? And your staff can harness some of these events to raise money for charity – upping the feel-good factor for them.

Hallow’een is past, but chomping on its heels is Christmas Jumper Day.

Save The Children established Christmas Jumper Day on Friday 14th December 2012. Its rallying cry of making things better with a sweater inspired schools, workplaces and families to wear a silly jumper – the sillier and the uglier the better – to raise money for Save The Children. 

Christmas Jumpers

So, if your team want to have a workplace participation in this one – or wearing green on St Patrick’s Day or wearing fancy dress for Hallowe’en – you might want to encourage it. With one or two caveats of course. Such as:

  1. Participation isn’t mandatory
  2. You encourage your staff to support a charitable cause with it – look for local need that you could support as well as the national events such as Christmas Jumper Day.  

    In fact, you could get a sort of double-whammy here by encouraging your staff to get their Christmas jumpers from a local charity shop. These establishments tend to have plenty of them on the rails from mid-November onwards. 

But always keep in mind your own responsibilities as an employer to have a workplace social event policy. And here Go-Legal HR can help you draw one up. If you’re unsure about your responsibilities here then you definitely need to get in touch.

You do need to maintain such a policy because you have a duty of care towards your staff. And it’s a matter of good practice. Why?  Because any source of jollifications can also be a source of discomfort at best, and downright distress at worst, to some of your staff. The Equality Act 2010 makes you, the employer, liable for any acts of harassment, discrimination and victimization carried out by your staff. The best way to avoid such liability is by showing you have taken reasonable steps to prevent such occurrences. It is all too easy to think that social events do not carry such risks.

Christmas Jumper day and other festivals of this winter season are hurtling towards us.
If your workplace social event policy needs brushing up – assuming you even have one in the first place – don’t wait.

Go-Legal HR will help you draw one up so you’re suitably covered. Call 07801 709945 now and let’s get on to it right away. Before Christmas hits you like an out-of-control sledge.