The holiday season can be a very joyous time of year, but it can also be one of the most stressful times of year—especially for employees. According to survey results highlighted in Safety+Health magazine, 32% of respondents claimed that balancing holiday and work obligations makes the holidays more stressful for them and that they feel more pressure to perform better.
Here’s what you can do to help your employees and leaders better manage their holiday stress levels.
Encourage Everyone to Take Time Off
Encourage leaders across your organization to take vacations and spend a week or more with their families and friends during the holiday season. And encourage them to take an afternoon off to get their holiday shopping done or to meet with a family member for lunch, and so on.
When leaders lead by example and take time off, then their employees will become more encouraged to take time off, too. Most employees get stressed during the holidays because they simply can’t find the time to shop, take care of their children who are out of school, make meals, host guests, attend holiday events, volunteer, etc.—on top of their everyday workloads.
Promote Visibility and Open Communication
Endorse an open-door policy during the holidays across your organization, where employees can come to you or their immediate bosses when they’re stressed, need to take time off, need counseling or help with time management, etc. If they have a genuine support system at work when things get hectic, they will be better able to manage chaotic schedules, surmounting tasks, emotional stress, and more.
Offer Flexible Work Options
The survey also finds that 32% of the respondents said that they wanted more flexible work schedules during the holidays so that they could be more productive and happier at work. So, allow your employees and leaders more opportunities to work from home or to work half days, and they will most likely be less stressed.
Understand Key Priorities and Time Management
Managers and employees often get stressed during the holidays because they must manage a lot more things on both their work and personal calendars. If you can, offer everyone across your organization time management courses or guidance, and help individuals set up ways to better manage and better balance their personal and work calendars and agendas so that they don’t get burned out.
Outsource Extra Help
If you can hire extra temporary or contract-based workers to help employees during the holidays, then do so. Even if you can’t hire others to help with the workloads, you can hire time management professionals or counselors to help better manage stress levels.
Provide Financial Wellness and Planning Services
A lot of employees get stressed because they must spend a lot of money during the holidays without knowing exactly how they will be able to pay it back. So, if you can’t offer bonuses during the holidays, you should at least offer them financial wellness and planning services so that they can feel more financially secure.
Find Ways to Give Back
Studies parsed by Harvard and studies parsed by Huffington Post have revealed that volunteering and “giving back” help reduce stress and are better for one’s overall health. So, help employees discover ways they can fit volunteering into their schedules without becoming too busy or overwhelmed.
If you want your employees to be less stressed during the holiday season, follow the tips outlined above.