Avoid Holiday Meltdowns: How to Support Employee Wellbeing

It’s that time of year again… While some say it’s the most wonderful time of the year, the holidays can also be an incredibly high-stress time for employees. There’s no getting around the fact that it’s a demanding season for many of us. The pressure of family gatherings, endless cleaning, baking, entertaining, decorating, late nights, and the added stress of finding that perfect gift for everyone on the list. Couple that with the final push to complete projects before the end of the year, and it’s no wonder that employee burn-out is common around the holidays.

“While some say it’s the most wonderful time of the year, the holidays can also be an incredibly high-stress time for employees.”

Here are a few key ways to support your team so they can relax and actually enjoy the holidays this year!

1. Host a low-stress holiday celebration. Celebration is key to building great teams, and holiday parties can be a vital chance to connect over something other than work. But office celebrations can also be a source of added stress for employees. Dressing up, finding a babysitter, another late night, and finding that perfect gift exchange contribution all add responsibilities to an already lengthy to-do list. Make your holiday gathering low stress by choosing a venue and activity tailored to your culture and employees. Consider ditching the dress code, hosting a daytime event, or choosing a low-key activity that doesn’t require extracurricular effort for employees.

For more ideas on hosting a holiday party no one will regret, Click here.

2. Encourage them to disconnect. Give employees permission to set their out of office and disconnect from emails, phone calls, and text messages over the holidays. Encouraging your team to be fully present with loved ones will mean they return relaxed and re-energized. A healthy work-life balance starts at the top, so model what you want to see by disconnecting yourself!

3. Include everyone. It may not be possible to give everyone the holidays off, but make sure you include the whole team in the celebration. If your operation can’t shut down completely, make sure you consider employees who are working hard over the holidays. They’re already missing out on time with loved ones, so make sure the on-duty crew at least gets to enjoy some festive perks, too. Foster a jolly mood by showing your appreciation. Food is always a great place to start! Host a pizza party, bring in supplies for ice cream sundaes, or supply holiday-themed specialty coffees.

4. Give them extra time. Over the holidays, there never seems like enough time to get everything done! Consider reducing staffing levels to the bare minimum over the holidays, and rotating schedules to give employees extra days off between Christmas and New Year’s. If taking an entire extra day off isn’t feasible, consider shutting down an hour or two early on a few choice days over the holidays to give employees the chance to shop, run errands, volunteer, or just to decompress.

5. Put it off until the New Year. Holidays can be a hectic time for everyone. Remove some of the pressure and help stave off the post-holiday funk by planning holiday celebrations for the New Year instead. If you give out bonuses, consider waiting until January. When the credit card bills roll in after the holiday spending frenzy, the extra funds will have a greater impact for cash-strapped employees.

Your Engaged Assignment: Sensing holiday burn-out on the horizon for employees? Keep our strategies in mind as you plan the next couple of months, and give your team a breather – they deserve it!