Workplaces and businesses
Inter Faith Week provides workplaces and businesses with a unique opportunity to engage with diversity and equalities and to encourage religious literacy and positive relations in the workplace.
SOME POSSIBLE ACTIVITY IDEAS INCLUDE:
- Hold an Inter Faith Week training day on religion and belief.
- Invite members of local faith communities for your staff to talk with and ask questions to gain insight into different religions, beliefs, customs, and cultural contexts.
- Run a webinar or chat with your offices around the country on religion and belief issues and the importance of good relations.
- Hold a virtual or in-person discussion about how religious literacy and dialogue might contribute to and strengthen the realisation of your corporate values.
- Hold a ‘coffee’ morning for staff faith and belief groups to interact informally (like a Swedish Fika where colleagues meet to have a break and socialise during the workday).
- Find out what your nearest local inter faith group is doing, reach out and encourage employees to participate in any activities it is holding that week (You can find a list of such groups at: https://www.interfaith.org.uk/members/list).
- If you do not currently have a faith staff network or a multi-faith staff network, you could use Inter Faith Week to begin discussions on starting one. Or if you are already discussing one, perhaps you could use the Week to launch it.
- Use the opportunity of Inter Faith Week to do positive outreach to colleges and schools, introducing your business and values to students whose faith and belief backgrounds are not represented much in your workforce or industry.
- If you provide volunteering hours to your employees, why not encourage them to use some during Inter Faith Week to volunteer with a faith-based initiative such as a food bank or homeless shelter?
- Arrange an opportunity for employees to visit two local places of worship to increase their religious literacy and tackle misunderstandings and stereotypes.
- Host an Inter Faith Week Buddies’ session across the month leading up to and including Inter Faith Week. Like a speed-networking event, this facilitates one-on-one conversations between two people of different faiths so they can learn from each other, in person or online.
- Ask your HR or D&I teams to facilitate discussions about the benefits of a diverse workforce and create a welcoming context for people to bring their ‘whole self’ to work.
Inter Faith Week offers a valuable opportunity or staff faith and inter faith networks to raise awareness and increase religion and belief literacy. It’s also a great time to develop and strengthen good relations in the workplace.
SOME POSSIBLE ACTIVITY IDEAS INCLUDE:
- Increase understanding and raise awareness about the faith and belief of staff members, for example, by:
- Bringing individual staff faith and belief networks together to share and learn
- Running a mini social media campaign with a different faith or belief highlighted each day, perhaps featuring a member of staff of a different faith or belief and a quote from them.
- Creating an in-house and/or online exhibition about different faiths and beliefs and about the importance of good inter -faith relations
- Hosting a session where employees can hear presentations from members of staff of different faiths and beliefs about how what they believe and practise shapes their life, including their working life (you could include an opportunity for questions at the end
- Inviting external speakers (such as local faith leaders or other knowledgeable members of faith and belief groups) to talk about particular faiths and beliefs
- Find out about your nearest local inter-faith organisation and invite a speaker: IFN Member List
- If your company/workplace does not have an inter -faith or multi-faith network, why not use the Week to begin discussions about starting one? Or, if you have already begun discussions, use the Week to launch one!
- Arrange opportunities for staff to take part in an Inter -Faith Buddies conversation (see the Inter Faith Network’s guidelines). Like a speed-networking event, this enables one-on-one conversations between two people of different faiths so they can learn from each other. This can be done in person or online.
- Host a panel discussion for staff of different faiths and beliefs to discuss their perspectives on particular issues such as the climate or mental health and wellbeing.
- Work with your company’s Equalities or Diversity and Inclusion team to hold a discussion about faith and belief in the workplace, the benefits of a diverse workforce, and creating a welcoming context for people to bring their ‘whole self’ to work.
- Work with your company’s Equalities or Diversity and Inclusion team to arrange for staff to be able to visit two local places of worship of different faiths to increase their understanding and boost religious literacy.
- With other staff faith groups, choose a charity about which you all mind and work on an inter faith basis to do a fundraiser for it. Or contact a local food bank, homeless charity or other such initiative and see if a group of staff of different faiths and beliefs could volunteer on an afternoon or evening during Inter Faith Week – or could help collect helpful items for it. Mitzvah Day, on the last Sunday of Inter Faith Week, might be a good time for that!
- Invite a well-known figure or figures in your sector or industry who is known for have commented on the importance of their faith in the context of their work. Some examples can be found from the Faith and Belief Forum. Or it might, for example, be someone in your field who has been praised for their work with regard to diversity and inclusion.
Additional ideas and pointers for Employers can be found here.
Photos: Northern Rail Staff Visit to Bradford Mandir, 2022; RAF Honington Inter Faith Week event, 2021
Published 8 August 2022