‘Tis the season – but is it time to be jolly, or time to be stressed? For many, the holiday season is the most stressful time of the year. While many of the stressors are personal, such as finances and scheduling, others are professional, including shortened deadlines and stressed customers. Here are some ways you can support your team this holiday season.
- Be inclusive. There are a variety of holidays being celebrated this time of year, and your employees have their own ways of observing religious, cultural and national holidays. Be sure that each employee has the flexibility they need, and that they feel comfortable and supported in the workplace.
- Solicit opinions. For many companies, the holiday party is a staple of the season – but it often causes conflicts with family obligations, or creates more stress for your employees. Reach out and ask how they want to celebrate as an office – perhaps a gathering during the work day is more appealing than a night out, or employees would rather postpone until January.
- Be respectful of personal time. This time of year is full of personal obligations – try to avoid calling meetings or scheduling deadlines that will require people to stay late or work overtime. If you’re feeling generous, give everyone an extra day off before the holidays, to allow them to attend to their personal business without worrying about work – your employees will surely appreciate the extra time!
- Review workloads. It’s not only the holiday season, but it’s the end of the year, which for many companies means the end of the fiscal year as well. Check in with employees and rebalance workloads as necessary to make sure no one is feeling overwhelmed and stressed by upcoming deadlines.
- Volunteer as a company. One of the most rewarding things to do during the holiday season is to give back to your community. Maybe instead of a party, your office can spend the afternoon shopping and donating gifts to a local foster agency or nursing home, or spend time packing food boxes for the local food pantry. Volunteering is not only great for your community, but boosts your spirits as well.
The holidays can be stressful, but they should also be joyful. By supporting your employees during this time, you can have a happier and more engaged workforce in the New Year.