The holiday season brings joy, festivities and happiness – but it can also cause a lot of stress and pressure for your employees. As an employer, you’re probably wondering how to support employees over the holidays, because less stress means a better working environment, which means happier employees, which ultimately means more productivity.
Around 35% of people find it more stressful working during the holidays (we’re honestly surprised it’s not more).
With the increase in work demands and family responsibilities, the stress levels of your employees can rise substantially during the festive period.
Most of this holiday season stress comes from balancing work duties with holiday demands, so trying to decrease your employee’s stress levels in the workplace can keep them working on top form – and keep them happier in their role.
There are many ways you can help alleviate stress and make your workers feel more relaxed and comfortable while working during this time of year.
To control the hecticness of the holidays consider implementing these 5 tips for supporting employees during the holidays.
1. Offer scheduling flexibility
With so many people working remotely now, many companies are offering flexible working hours. Even if you have staff working in-house, you can still offer more flexibility in your scheduling.
You can improve flexible working hours by:
- Offering extended breaks
- Allowing employees to leave early or start early
- Organize shorter working days
- Enabling staff to work on different days of the week
This will help your employees organize their holiday celebrations in a less stressful environment.
Consider creating a plan for December that schedules employees in to leave work early on selected days. You can also rotate it so everybody gets to benefit from the early finish, but you’re not left struggling to get work done.
If you’re feeling generous (and workload permitting), on days like Christmas Eve or New Year’s Eve, consider closing up shop early and letting all your employees off to enjoy their holidays to the fullest.
2. Provide help and advice for time management
With the increase in time demands from shopping outings, family gatherings, holiday decorations, and possibly church, the holidays can be a hectic time and it’s hard to fit everything in.
Some people struggle to stay on track with what they’re meant to do, especially if they’ve got a long list of holiday events scheduled. Make sure your staff know how to manage their time so they don’t end up stressed with too much responsibility.
You can introduce them to time management techniques, so they can easily organize their holiday schedule.
Time management techniques
Here are a few techniques and tools you can share with your staff to help them get more organized over the holiday season.
- Use project management tools like Teamwork or Nifty to help keep track of tasks
- Try the Pomodoro technique – which helps get rid of any interruptions, allowing you to retrain your brain to focus on the task you’re doing
- Time block workloads and take breaks in between
- Get fresh air – it makes it easier to focus on tasks
- Ranking tasks from most urgent to least urgent will help streamline workloads and make everyone more efficient at completing tasks
Try to encourage your employees to create measurable goals around their workload. If they can check off finished tasks and keep track of what they’ve accomplished they’ll feel motivated to stay productive.
3. Promote/introduce new perks and benefits
Holiday bonuses are the perfect way to boost morale and get employees out of their slump. With such a tough year behind us, many companies won’t be giving out holiday bonuses, but by giving your employees a bonus, you’ll make them feel valued and appreciated.
The more your employees know that you value them and their work, the more they’ll want to work for you – and do a good job. They’ll become more productive and engaged in what they’re doing and less stressed.
If giving out a holiday bonus isn’t possible for your company, and for many it isn’t right now, don’t worry – there are other ways you can show your appreciation to your staff.
- Send personalized gifts like wine, chocolate or a customized mug
- Send holiday cards with vouchers or small gifts inside
- Give them an extra afternoon/morning off
- Treat everyone to a round of delicious treats and coffee
4. Bring the festive mood into the workplace
The easiest way to make your workplace a little more stress-free is to bring some holiday cheer inside. Get everybody in the festive mood by decorating the office with fun lights, a Christmas tree, some bows and baubles, and maybe even a bit of fake snow!
By decorating your office you’ll be able to get everybody excited for the holidays. Here are a few other ways you can bring the festive mood into your workplace and involve the whole team (some you can even do with your remote team members):
- Decorate a Christmas tree together
- Have a dress-theme for an entire week (ugly Christmas jumpers is always a fun idea)
- Decorate your desks, you could even have a competition
- Have some fun and play some Christmas games
5. Organize a staff night out or fun team building event
A Christmas night out is a great way to bring your team together and relieve some stress from the busy holiday season. There are so many options for team building days/nights:
- Host a Zoom holiday party for you and your staff, especially if you’re all currently working remotely – due to current 2020 COVID-19 restrictions in Alberta
- Lunch or dinner out at a nice restaurant
- Visit an amusement park
- Ice skating
- Virtual reality rooms
- Archery/axe-throwing/target shooting
- Rent an Airbnb for a weekend away
There might be limitations on what’s open this year, but that doesn’t mean you still can’t have an evening of fun.
There are loads of things you can do online like play online board games, watch a movie, or play other games via video chat. Just because we can’t see each other in person right now due to COVID-19, doesn’t mean we can’t have an awesome holiday celebration!
If you’re looking to put some great benefits in place for your employees in time for the holidays, call us today and we’ll help you put the right plan in place.
Our team can look over your current benefit plan and discuss any new options that are available for you.
Take care of your employee’s well-being and keep their stress low over the holidays with help from our friendly team.