One Holiday Too Many?
As we approach the busy holiday season, every business tries to have some cheery festivities. But with so many holidays, how do you choose what to celebrate and when? Everybody loves a little turkey and pumpkin pie…and some tailgating…and some challah bread…and maybe some Christmas carols and Kwanzaa dancing and New Year’s toasting. While it’s certainly important to take time to celebrate and relax as a business or organization, you need to find the right balance. We’ve asked Jonathan Segal, partner at Duane Morris, to share with us some wisdom for the holidays.
Name: Jonathan Segal
How does your company celebrate the holidays?
We have offices throughout the country and each has its own party. I am pleased to note the holiday parties, as well as our office decorations, reflect the richness of religious diversity of our attorneys and staff.
What instances have you learned from in the past with trying to find balance during the holidays?
It can be the most wonderful time of year. But it is also very stressful with the additional “to do” lists. I know I need to be more gentle with others trying to juggle more than usual. I have to start with myself!
What’s important to remember when planning holiday fun at work?
That it is still work. We all know work is not limited to “working hours.” It is all about relationships. People need to remember that they need to work together the next day. Keep in mind that the EEO policy applies to all holiday functions. Watch how much you drink. And, if you don’t remember or can’t control what you do when you drink, don’t drink! Here’s an updated blog I wrote on the topic. Buckle your seat belt; lots of sarcasm ahead: http://www.weknownext.com/blog/the-holiday-tale-by-the-jewish-guy-who-wears-a-chai-2013
How do you collect employee feedback to plan for next year’s shindig(s)?
For me the key is inclusion. Relevant to the following point, I am Jewish. But I want to scream when people say you cannot mention Christmas or include Christmas decorations. Of course, you can! The key is not to eliminate Christmas, which is a beautiful and spiritual holiday. The key is to include other holidays.
Do you have enough inclusion?
I would ask. But not right after the holidays. People are a bit burnt out.
But sometime before next year’s holiday season, you might ask your workforce a general question: we would like our festivities and decorations to be as inclusive as reasonably possible. Do you have any suggestions? Of course, only ask if you are prepared to listen to the answers!
If someone wants to contact you, where can they go?