How to Help Your Employees Overcome Holiday Related Stress
Although the holidays are portrayed as a happy and relaxing time, they can also be quite stressful. Your employees can feel pressure from both their personal and professional lives, which makes it tough to avoid the stress that comes with this particular season.
It’s vital as an employer to help your team through this time, which is why business professionals have shared their insight on how to help employees over the holidays.
1) Avoid putting additional pressure on employees
Tatiana Lapteva, the founder of Lingvohouse says, “during the holiday season, it’s important not to put additional pressure on your employees. The holidays aren’t always joyful for everyone, and can actually be a tough time for some people. You need to be courteous around your employees and be cautious about the tasks you assign so close to the holidays.
It’s a good idea to not assign major tasks before the holidays and instead wait until the new year. It also helps to work with your team to prioritize what needs to get done before the holiday break, and what could wait until after.”
2) Offer a flexible work schedule
A flexible work schedule can really help when it comes to holiday stress. Many people experience this stress both at work and at home, so it helps to offer some support by offering flexible hours. If your employees can work from home, or work a hybrid schedule, this might be helpful for your team when it comes to reducing holiday related stress.
It helps to discuss with your team what works best for them, but overall a more flexible work schedule can help so employees feel more calm around this time of year. Especially with kids getting out of school for the holidays and other obligations, employees can feel a major increase in stress.
3) Offer PTO
PTO is important to offer to all employees, as well as encouraging them to take it. Although there are dates around the holidays that are mandatory to take off, it can help with employee well-being if they schedule time off for themselves as well.
As an employer, you can encourage employees to take time off as well as have a conversation around it. This helps to make an employee feel less guilty for wanting to have a vacation. Time off is necessary for employee well-being and it helps them to feel more motivated when they are back at work.
4) Encourage open communication
Feedback from employees is essential around the holidays. It’s a good idea to always have open communication between you and your team so they know they can go to you for help if needed. Some employees might take on too much out of fear of falling behind, but this can cause burnout and make their time off around the holidays not as relaxing.
Make sure to tell your team to come to you for help, suggestions or to simply chat about their workload and other issues they may be facing. It’s also important to have any available resources for employees who might be struggling with their mental health around the holidays.
5) Take time off yourself
“By taking time off as an employer, you are showing to your team that it’s okay to do so. When leaders don’t ever take breaks, it sends a negative message to their team members. Every person within a company needs to take a vacation to normalize it. Not doing so can make employees feel guilty for wanting to be away from work which can lead them to become overworked and take a toll on them mentally and physically”, says Shaun Connell, the founder of Credit Building Tips.
He continues to say, “even if you don’t take long vacations, taking a day off here and there helps to show your team that it’s nothing to be ashamed of!”
6) Have a holiday party, but don’t put pressure on employees to attend
Daniel Bari of Dreamland Jewelry remarks, “if you have a holiday party, it’s vital to not pressure any employees to attend. Although these gatherings can be fun and help with team building, some people are too busy or find these types of events to be stressful. Always use neutral language and discourage employees from singling out other team members for not attending.
It also helps to make all employees feel included even if they don’t attend. Giving out small but thoughtful gifts (like a gift card) to all employees can help to not leave anyone out, and ensure they are shown some appreciation over the holidays”.