Eid Al-Adha is one of the most important festivals for Muslims around the world. This year it was celebrated from the evening of Monday 19 July and to the evening of Friday 23 July.
During this festival, Muslims devote time to spend with their family and friends, pray and give to the poor. Islam is the second largest religion in the UK which means around 3 million across the country have been celebrating Eid Al-Adha.
This should therefore serve as a reminder for everyone, including employers, to celebrate and encourage diversity in the UK. At a time when most industries are recognising lack of diversity in the workplace and setting targets to bridge the ethnicity gap, it is more important than ever for employers to encourage diversity in the workforce and promote inclusivity from within.
Not only does recruiting from a culturally diverse pool of talent allow a business to attract and retain the most talented workers, but research has found that businesses with a culture of diversity and inclusion are happier and also more productive.
What can employers do?
There are various practices employers can adopt in order to promote and encourage inclusion:
- Create an open dialogue about diversity in the workplace. This may include conducting diversity and inclusion talks for new joiners, to raise awareness of embracing differences amongst colleagues, promoting a healthy working environment. You can also dedicate a page to diversity on the company’s website, in the recruitment section. This can outline what your organisation is doing to promote inclusivity and report on the ethnicity gap.
- Address unconscious bias by making such training compulsory for all staff. This will also show your staff you are taking active steps to address such sensitive issues.
- Ensure you have a diverse recruitment panel to reflect the diversity of your workforce.
- Adopt an open and clear policy in relation to allowing employees time and space for religious prayers. Demonstrating your awareness and respect for people of all religions and backgrounds by allowing breaks for religious prayers will make employees feel valued and respected, which in turn will promote high productivity and a low turnover rate.
- Take active steps to ensure diversity is reflected in the management level of the company. Set annual or quarterly targets which are reviewed accordingly to ensure this plan is followed through. Ensure you are engaging with employees to review their performance with a view to progressing them.
- Introduce social events/activities which embrace different religious and cultural festivals/celebrations for all staff to attend. This will invariably promote awareness amongst all staff and make employees from different backgrounds feel included.
- Adopt a policy which allows employees to take 2-3 days off a year to observe religious holidays.
Fostering an inclusive culture at work will not only improve staff morale but also reduce turnover and boost productivity. Amongst other things, such an environment can serve to make all employees feel valued and encouraged to reach their potential. It therefore serves as an important pillar in the success of any business.
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