HR Blog

Reducing stress at work during the holidays

Mindful HR LLC

December 2018

It’s no secret that the holiday season can bring on additional stress this time of year. Whether your employees love to celebrate the season (or dread it) there are some things you can do to help reduce some of that stress in the coming weeks.

1. Make sure your policies for taking time off are clear. Whether you give your staff paid holidays, holiday pay, floating holidays or require them to use PTO, make sure everyone knows what days they can take off, and how it works so there are no surprises when they return.

2. Ensure your staff has the proper resources and support to handle the workload. If your business is one that experiences an increase in business or sales (ie: more work for employees) during the holiday season, consider hiring temporary employees to help cover the extra volume.

3. Show extra appreciation to those employees required to work on actual holidays.

4. If you have an EAP (Employee Assistance Program), remind your employees of the services available and how to use it. The holidays can be an extremely difficult time for anyone dealing with grief, divorce, illness or other personal problems. If you don’t have an EAP, look into getting one in the coming year.

5. Consider offering employees reduced hours or a ½ day off to take care of any extra personal business or self-care needed during this busy time.

6. Make sure that any decorations or celebrations do not represent just one religion. If your company or organization does like to go all out for the holiday season, a general holiday theme is typically best. There are many holidays celebrated by many faiths and non-religious people this time of year, so make sure your workplace feels inclusive for everyone.

7. Give all company gifts and bonuses in private, unless everyone is included and receives the same thing. Sometimes good intentions can cause hurt feelings when people start comparing.

8. Consider hosting your holiday celebrations during work hours. People have so many additional obligations this time of year!

9. Make sure any gift exchanges are voluntary and have a spending limit. People should not feel obligated to participate or purchase gifts for co-workers.

10. Plan your parties with care! If you do host a formal gathering, consider hosting it off-premises and limiting alcohol consumption by using drink tickets or offering a one-time toast or drink upon arrival. If serving alcohol, make sure plenty of food and safe transportation are available!