The blessed month of Ramadan is finally here and in the UK Ramadan has started on the 2nd of April and most likely last for 29 or 30 days. The main question today is how does manager create a positive environment during the month of Ramadan so that not only Muslim employees are catered for but also non-Muslim staff are made aware of why these Muslim colleagues are celebrating the holy month of Ramadan. So below are some of my top tips for managers to take note of and maybe implement within their teams/organisation to support all staff of the organisation.
Understand what Ramadan is
All leaders within the organisation should take part in understanding what Ramadan is. One of the easiest ways of doing this is to get in touch with the city’s central mosque and undertake an Islamic awareness course. Knowing about it will help you shape your HR policy better which in turn will help your staff better.
Make provision for daily prayers
Muslim prays five times a day. This is a perfect opportunity for the organisation to make a Muslim prayer room. I would recommend going a step further and taking the initiative to make it future proof by developing a designated Muslim prayer room with ablution facilities. Make this not only for your Muslim colleagues but also for Muslim visitors too.
Have a look at condensing working hours or let them work flexibly
Almost all Muslims will be involved in night prayers and late-night worshipping activities so this makes the 8 or 9 am start a bit difficult. The solution here could be that you look at condensing work hours. The pandemic has shown us that it is possible to work from home, so let your staff work from home ore over the Ramadan period.
Accommodate request for Annual Leave
Have a dialogue with your Muslim colleague about their annual leave requests as compared to leaving it to the last minute. The earlier you have these conversations the better you will be able to plan your resources. The last 10 days of Ramadan are extremely important followed by the Eid celebration.
Accommodate iftar time at work
If you have Muslim colleagues who are required to work late then it would be a good gesture to arrange iftar at work. Give them adequate time to break there fast.
Avoid settings up meetings towards the end of the day
Generally speaking the energy and concentration level dips in the late afternoon therefore it will be better to let the employees arrange their working days and meetings. Hold important tasks and meetings in the morning
Always have an open communication channel for all staff
Having an open safe communication framework in place will help all parties and staff voice their opinions and concerns. It is imperative that everyone feels valued, listened to and opinions respected. The leadership team needs to be more visible and more engaged with the wider narrative within the organisation.
By Rayhan Abdullah Zakaria