Hispanic Heritage Month has been celebrated every year for a 30-day period from September 15 to October 15 since 1988. As organizations embrace and encourage diversity and inclusion at the workplace, the celebration of heritage months is especially important.
Significance of Hispanic Heritage Month
Hispanic Heritage Month (HHM) is celebrated to commemorate the lives and contributions of Hispanic and Latinx individuals and communities to society. It is also a time dedicated to understanding and celebrating the rich and varied cultural heritage of this diverse community. During this month, the achievements and sacrifices of Hispanic and Latinx changemakers as well as those who continue to shine their bright light in the fields of fine arts, science, politics, social impact as well as entertainment are cherished and applauded.
Why every organization should celebrate HHM
For organizations, celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month is a testament of their commitment to diversity and inclusion. It is an acknowledgement of the Hispanic and Latinx community as employees, customers and members of society. Recognizing and honoring the community is a nod to the challenges they have faced and overcome being a minority.
Having an Employee Resource Group (ERG) dedicated to the Hispanic and Latinx community is a must-have to create a sense of belonging for existing employees as well as attract new hires. When organizations celebrate HMM, they pledge their commitment to standing up for the community during challenging times. Customers as well as employees, especially those belonging to the new generation, want to associate with brands that are drivers of social change and inclusivity. Genuine efforts by the organization will help attract the top talent as well as loyal customers. Celebrating HHM helps spread cultural information within the organization and increase the overall awareness and cultural sensitivity of the employee base.
How Hispanic Heritage Month can be celebrated at the workplace
The best way to learn about culture and heritage is directly from the community members themselves. Encourage your employees to share their family history and cultural stories with their colleagues. Pass the microphone to passionate members of the community to help the organization learn more about the unique aspects of their tradition. Conduct webinars to discuss Hispanic culture so that employees working remotely can also participate. Inviting relevant guest speakers is another great way to inspire employees.
Explore the history and heritage
During Hispanic Heritage Month, many museums and galleries conduct special events and programs to showcase the history, culture and contributions of the Hispanic and Latinx communities. These programs include literary and artistic works that provide a glimpse of the creative arts of the community. Companies can organize day-long visits to museums and exhibitions for employees to attend. There are many options of guided virtual tours of museums also available to include employees across different geographies.
Giving back to the community
Companies can partner with organizations that support and serve Hispanic and Latinx communities. By including their alliance in marketing campaigns, companies can help non-profit organizations get more visibility. Encouraging employees to volunteer for a day during HMM by providing an option of getting paid time off for their contributions, is another way to make a difference. Small businesses run by Hispanic and Latinx members can be invited to showcase their goods and services at office locations. Companies can fulfill their corporate social responsibilities while creating a culture of giving at the workplace.
Showcase the culture
Hispanic and Latin American culture is known for its food, music, and dance. Organizations can set-up culturally inspired cooking sessions to introduce the workforce to authentic Hispanic and Latin American cuisines. Sharing recipes and cooking tips is a great way to share information. End of day dance sessions can be set-up to help employees learn about world-famous dance styles that have Hispanic and Latin American origins. It can introduce an element of fun and help employees de-stress. Music curated by members of the Hispanic ERG can be played during the HHM events to add a flavor of fun and authenticity.
All in all, Hispanic Heritage Month celebrations at the workplace can be fun-filled and informative experiences for everyone involved while championing genuine inclusivity.