During the holidays keeping your team stress free is more out of the leader’s control than normal. On top of that team members may be doing more harm than good on themselves working extra hours to earn money for the holidays while end of the year deadlines creep nearer and nearer along with the holidays themselves.
Here is a quick list of tips that organizations large and small can try out to reduce holiday stress in employees.
Try to schedule holiday events for your organization during regular business hours instead of asking team members to spend even more time away from home and family.
If you have a assistance program of any kind whether it be monetary or otherwise remind team members it exists and encourage them to use it.
Make sure you show extra appreciation, even if it is only verbal and whether they worked voluntarily or by request, when team members work on a holiday.
Encourage more casual dress during work hours nearest the holiday and at holiday parties.
Provide holiday food. Again, whether this is at a party or near a holiday don’t add stress by asking team members to provide the eats.
If you give annual or quarterly bonuses of any kind, give them early so your team may make use of it during this financially stressful time of year.
Provide floating holidays so your team members can take time off whenever it is their family and friends celebrate.
Reduce hours or extend lunches to allow your team to run errands during regular shopping hours.
Provide time-off for your employees who choose to volunteer during the holidays, or better yet work volunteerism into your work environment.
For shift based and hourly team members, try to provide opportunities for additional work.
Some organizations even provide child care, gratis, so team members can run errands.
A final, but important note: remember that some people do not celebrate the most common winter holidays or may not celebrate at all. For some, the holidays can be a painful reminder of lost loved ones or a difficult family life past or present. Don’t push employees to participate in your organization’s holiday events and programs if it makes them uncomfortable.