Kwanzaa is an African-American holiday that starts on December 26 and runs to January 1. The seven days of this cultural holiday celebrate African heritage and corresponds with the seven traditional values of the African people. Translated from the Swahili phrase, matunda ya kwanza, which means first fruits, Kwanzaa is based on the traditional African harvest festival.
People from all over the world and from all different backgrounds and cultures celebrate this holiday in an effort to tie these principals to their business and community life. Consider the following ways to integrate this holiday and the Kwanzaa principals into your own organization.
Umoja - Unity
Teamwork is essential to any business. By focusing on unity, you recognize that everything you do within the organization affects your team.
Kujichagulia - Self-Determination
All employees have a right to their own destiny. As an employer, it’s important to encourage growth through education and training so you’ll have a happier and more satisfied team of workers.
Ujima - Collective Work and Responsibility
Thriving businesses help better a community. Display corporate social responsibility (CSR) by giving back to the people who help make you a success. Do this by volunteering for a neighbourhood cause, support other businesses in the area and make the community a better place.
Ujamaa - Cooperative Economics
A healthy business helps control the economics of a neighbourhood. Support your local community by giving money to local causes, hold a fundraiser for a charity, or donate time to charter school students.
Nia - Purpose
Nia reminds us that all businesses and individuals have a purpose in life. For a company, that purpose is providing a product or service for its customers. Use that purpose for the greater good. For example, Staples Business Advantage hosts a number of events throughout the year in support of local charities as a way to give back.
Kuumba - Creativity
Kuumba urges us to make the world a better place through recycling and reusing. Fulfill your duty as a corporation by taking park in green initiatives to help make the world a cleaner and better place.
Imani - Faith
Every person who goes into business has to have faith. Learn to have faith in yourself as well as others to facilitate success.
Regardless of your beliefs, Kwanzaa provides excellent principles to live by and to run your company by. Encourage your community and your employees to explore the basis of this holiday.