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Did you know that over one billion people celebrate Diwali?

Celebrated by 15% of the global population, you likely have employees who will take part in the Diwali festival this year. Diwali festival has become one of the world's largest religious observances, and people in over 90 countries celebrate.

Think of Diwali, as well as other cultures' festivals and celebrations, as a great reason to explore the world around us. Create an environment of curiosity, inclusivity, and celebration. Your employees will appreciate the opportunity to observe their beliefs or learn something new. Both of which contribute to employee engagement and retention.

What Is Diwali?

Diwali celebrates the triumph of light over darkness, and good over evil. Hindus, Sikhs, Jains, and some Buddhists worldwide observe the festival of light. The Diwali celebration lasts five days and is between mid-October and mid-November. This year Diwali falls around the 24th of October.

The exact date of Diwali changes each year as it occurs at the end of the last month of the Hindu lunar calendar.

Diwali celebrations offer a unique opportunity for employers to engage with their employees on a personal level and build relationships beyond the workplace. Here are a few employee engagement ideas to get you started:

Employee Engagement Activities for Diwali

Creating a safe and celebratory space to observe Diwali will show your support for your employees. It will bring your team together regardless of beliefs and help promote an inclusive work culture.

Support the Formation of a Steering Committee to Organise Activities and Events

The best starting point to engage employees is to suggest the formation of a SteerCo to organise and lead events throughout the Diwali festival. 

Encourage your employees observing the festival to share how they would prefer to celebrate. Encourage those not observing the Diwali festival to get involved and learn. Make it inclusive for all and fun!

Enjoying celebrations like this can foster connections across teams and departments and promote inclusivity. 

Share Resources to Learn More About the Diwali Festival

When it comes to creating engagement around cutural celebrations, education is vital. Ensure everyone in your organisation is well-versed on what Diwali is and why it's important. Many people fear what they do not know so hosting a talk to help employees understand the importance of the Diwali festival and drive engagement can be an excellent starting point. 

Promoting learning in advance by sharing resources, videos, and articles before the Diwali celebration will help prepare people and teach them how to engage. Afterwards, create space for questions and open conversations.

A quiz is always fun to engage employees and get them thinking about something other than work for a while! Plus, it's a quick and easy way to share learning. 

Host a potluck lunch

A potluck lunch is a great way to encourage employees to share their favourite traditional Diwali dishes. Not only will this give everyone a chance to sample new foods, but it will also be a fun opportunity for employees to learn more about each other's cultures and traditions. To make things even more festive, you could decorate the lunch area with Diwali decorations or set up a "make your own rangoli" station.

Encourage Traditional and Ethnic Attire

Clothing worn during Diwali reflects the joy of the celebration, with bright colours at the forefront. As one of the biggest Hindu festivals, it is a time when many people will be looking their best. Allow those observing the festival to dawn sarees or kurtas should they wish. Inclusivity is about individuals being able to bring their whole selves into work. 

Organise a Diwali gift exchange

A Diwali gift exchange is another great way to get employees involved in the festivities. Employees can bring in small gifts to exchange with their colleagues. This activity is not only thoughful, but it can also help employees get to know each other better and build team relationships.

Support Employees Celebrating Diwali

Fostering a sense of belonging by celebrating employees' cultures is essential for building a strong, cohesive team. By taking the time to celebrate Diwali with your team, you're sending the message that you value and respect their traditions and culture. These are just a few ideas; use your imagination and get creative! The most important thing is to have fun and show your employees that you care about them and their culture. After all, they are the heart of your business!  

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