As Muslims begin observing the month of Ramadan by abstaining from food and drink all day, you’re probably wondering what you can do to ensure employees stay engaged and healthy.
Here’s a list of things to consider implementing this holy month your employees will appreciate (while boosting company morale!).
1. Be flexible!
Did you know that fasting Muslims wake up as early as 4am for suhoor (a breakfast they take before dawn)?
Abstaining food and drink all day on top of sleep disruption may affect concentration and productivity at work.
This is especially true in the beginning week of Ramadan while people are still adjusting to the new schedule, but there are ways around this.
Offer an option to work-from-home
The past 2 years have proven that working from home is doable and at times even more productive. Consider offering this option to employees on days they don’t need to physically be in the office.
It also takes battling through Ramadan rush hour traffic out of the equation. Studies showed that employees who worked from home believed that saving time on commuting actually added to their productivity.
Flexible working hours
Of course, working from home may not be an option for jobs that require employees to be present on-site. In that case, you can consider offering flexible working hours instead.
You can decide on opting for shorter hours or flexible start and end times for the employees.
No matter which approach you end up choosing, be sure to communicate with the employee about what works best for them, and the productivity of the team.
Be mindful of the timing of discussions or events
It helps to be mindful of when and how long you are conducting meetings. We recommend keeping the more challenging discussions earlier in the day while energy is still high.
For most fasting Muslims, energy tends to reach a slump in the later afternoon. If the meeting is taking longer than expected, remember to allow for “microbreaks” in between.
A 1-minute break to move, stretch or meditate can do wonders for mental clarity and productivity. It’s great for all employees too, not just the ones fasting!
2. Ramadan Snack Packs
Simple and small snack packs are a great way to show fasting employees you care!
Your fasting employees will appreciate having something to munch on if they ever end up stuck in traffic on their way to buka puasa.
Food is also a lovely way to connect and learn about other cultures, so if you have the budget, offer these snacks up for other employees to sample!
Here are things you can consider including in your own Ramadan Snack Packs:
- Raya cookies
- Snack bars
- Boxed drinks / bottled water
Need any ideas on how to package them beautifully? Pinterest has boards and boards of ideas that will jog your creativity. We found some great ones below!
3. Give back to the community
“The best charity is the one which is given in Ramadan.” – The Prophet Muhammad (SAW)
For many Muslims, the holy month of Ramadan is the time to pour efforts into charities.
For companies, on the other hand, it’s an opportunity to organize CSR projects that give back to the community! Find causes and charities to contribute to that reflect your company’s values, culture and nature of business.
It’s a chance to really hone in on the culture that attracted your employees to join your company in the first place. A study by Deloitte on volunteering in 2017 showed that over 70% of respondents believed volunteerism boosted morale and gave them a sense of purpose.
For charity options, KitaJaga.co is great resource for charity campaigns and organizations in Malaysia.
Need help organizing your CSR projects? Consider collaborating with social enterprises like People Systems Consultancy. Check out People Systems Consultancy company profile on Hiredly!
4. Buka Puasa Parties
Buka puasa or iftar sessions are a given. As Malaysians, makan get-togethers are what we do best!
Here’s a tip though – avoid hosting any Buka Puasa Events in the last 10 days of Ramadan. This is because the last 10 days hold a spiritual significance for Muslims as they await Laylatul Qadr, one of the most sacred nights in the Islamic calendar.
Many of your Muslim employees may choose to focus on religious practices in the final days of Ramadan and therefore, might not be available for company events in the evening during this period.
5. Festive Decorations
Never underestimate the power of a good festive environment! Festive decorations are standard practice at many offices but if it isn’t at yours, this might be a good time to start.
Decorations can lift spirits and make celebrating employees feel included. They’re also great conversation-starters that make way for employees to learn about different cultures.
And if not for that, a change of environment once in a while will keep things fresh and exciting for everyone at the office.
Here’s a tip, green (a colour most popularly used for Ramadan and Eid celebrations in Malaysia) has been shown in studies to improve persuasion and concentration!
Be open to listening to your employee’s needs and if they don’t bring it up? Reach out to be sure!
Festive seasons are the best opportunity to improve employee engagement and boost morale no matter the celebration.
Take the extra effort to show employees you care and foster an environment that emphasizes diversity and inclusivity.