How to Support Religious Diversity at Work

Written by Calvin
Last updated August 30, 2021

Do you believe your workplace is inclusive and welcoming to all religions? Perhaps it is, but there may be more you can do as an employer to embrace religious diversity. By doing so, you’ll ensure you’re accommodating to all religions. 

It’s entirely up to each employee whether they choose to disclose their religion at work. If they do, it’s essential they feel supported and that all of their needs are met. For many people, religion is a massive part of their identity. As such, it can be very distressing or disorientating to have to mask this while at work. 

Supporting religious diversity at work allows your employees to feel more comfortable and free in the workplace. It boosts morale, increases staff loyalty, and improves your overall staff retention rate. It also allows an inclusive and diverse working environment to be created, which is of benefit to everyone involved. 

On this page, we are going to discuss some simple ways in which you can support religious diversity at work and become a more diversity-positive employer for all of your employees. 

Supporting Religious Diversity at Work

We’ve compiled a list of some of the best ways you can create a more accepting workplace for your employees by supporting religious diversity.

Create a designated space for prayer  

It’s very common practice in workplaces to have a suitable and quiet space for religious people to pray during their day. This doesn’t have to be an expensive, refurbished room, but simply a quiet room where any staff know they can go if they wish to pray. This helps staff know that their religion can be a part of their working life and not something they need to leave at the door. It’s also important to educate other staff members on how to be respectful around this area. Consider implementing some ground rules around how this should be interacted with.

Don’t assume everyone celebrates the same holidays

Part of embracing religious diversity at work is about recognising that everybody has different personal lives. We don’t all live by the same practices. A large part of this relates to religious holidays and festivals. Be sensitive when talking about holidays and religious celebrations as not everybody celebrates the same ones. It can be alienating for a person if they are assumed to celebrate a particular holiday. Alternatively, it can be distressing for a person to feel as if their celebrations are less valid. 

What does this mean for employers? Well, this means having a diverse approach towards Christmas and other dominating holidays in the workplace. A good place to start is by consulting other members of staff about such celebrations. 

Encourage staff to take time off for their religious celebrations

With this in mind, it’s essential that staff feel like they can have time off for their religious celebrations, even if not everybody else is celebrating it. If you know a staff member will be celebrating a particular religious holiday, don’t ask them to work on this day or don’t set them a significant deadline just after. Ensure they know that their celebrations are just as valid as any other and time off is not an inconvenience. 

Make sure events are suitable for all religions

If you have any out-of-work events, they must be suitable for all religions. This means that you must consider people’s dietary requirements if food is available, as many religious people don’t eat certain foods. There must always be a non-alcoholic drink option for those who don’t drink alcohol for religious reasons too. If an exterior organisation is catering an event, make sure to communicate to them about the needs of your staff, so no religious person feels excluded. 

Have a flexible and inclusive dress code policy 

One of the most prevalent forms of religious discrimination in the workplace is through unfair dress code policy. As an employer, you need to remember that not all of your staff can dress in the same way. That is to say, some people may have dress practices they must follow due to their religion. Having an inclusive dress code policy, which recognises different religious dress, will help staff feel comfortable and accepted.

Deliver training for all staff relating to religious diversity 

Diversity training is hugely important in the workplace. When it comes to promoting and ensuring religious diversity at work, it’s a great idea to implement training on the subject for all members of staff in your company. Learning about inclusive language, how to be respectful around customs and practices, and how to respectfully join in on celebrations helps cut down on potential issues. It’s never safe to assume that everyone knows what we want them to know, so training for all is always wise. 

Form a diverse events team

If you want to run diverse religious events in the workplace, create a diverse events team. That way, they can bring their own perspectives to the table and create something that works for everybody in the workplace. You might also consider having a diverse team that provides information on holidays, events, and customs to all members of the workplace. As a result, everyone will be as informed and on the same page as possible. 

Spreading the word of equality, diversity, and inclusion is always something beneficial to everyone in the workplace. 

Become an Inclusive Employer with Aspiring to Include

If you’re an employer interested in becoming more inclusive and accessible to all members of your staff and future applicants, you have landed in the right place. 

At Aspiring to Include, we believe in the power of equality, diversity, and inclusion. We want to support as many employers as possible to become the best diversity-positive employers they can be. 

You can use our resources and support for employers to find out everything you need about becoming diversity-positive. Check out the services we offer employers and how you can use our inclusive job board to connect with diverse job seekers from across the UK.

Anything else you need? Get in touch with our team – we’re looking forward to hearing from you. 

Share This Story

Last Updated: Tuesday January 16 2024
Go to Top