The holiday season is meant to be a time of celebration. A time for families and friends to gather and observe their own unique traditions. In spite of this (and sometimes because of it!), for many, the holiday season is also a time of great stress. Increased personal and family demands associated with the season can leave your employees run ragged.
Velas Candles by Guillermo Viciano, Flickr
Aside from providing the ubiquitous holiday party, employers can help employees get through the holiday season unscathed and unruffled with a variety of simple, thoughtful acts. Here are a few examples to get you thinking about what might work for you.
Provide a Holiday Survival Kit: ESI, the Employee Assistance Group has gathered a selection of online resources covering everything from appropriate behavior at work celebrations to tips for handling family matters and keeping safe. Taking the time to organize appropriate resources in one place for your employees shows them you care and saves them time when they encounter a challenge over the holidays.
Consider their Health: This time of the year is almost synonymous with sweet treats. Your employees will likely be offered cookies, cupcakes, chocolates—a veritable cornucopia of holiday treats, everywhere they go for the next month or so. Offering a more nutritious selection of snacks and a good supply of water in the break room is something you can do to help them weather the holiday sugar rush.
Give a Little: Not necessarily gifts. At this time of the year, the best thing you can give your employees to reduce holiday anxiety is flexibility. Widely considered one of the most valued aspects of any job, flexibility is pure gold over the holidays. Easing up on deadlines and allowing a more variable work schedule shows that you understand the increased demands they face and realize, for most of your employees, family is the “reason for the season.”
Save Them Time: For many employees, shopping becomes a major source of stress at this time of the year. If the majority of your employees are caught up in a shopping frenzy, consider bringing the mall to the office. You might designate an hour each day for sanctioned online shopping, or even invite a variety of popular vendors to participate in an office market one afternoon. Anything you can do save time for your employees during the holidays will reduce their administrative overhead and stress levels.
Put Family First: We’ve already touched on a couple of ways you might help your employees stay focused on family over the holidays. Here are a few more ideas you might consider:
If the majority of your employees have children, hold a family event to mark the holiday season.
Offer the company’s video conferencing technology to employees to call remote family and friends they can’t visit in person.
Allow early departure or time off for employees to attend to family needs (e.g. picking people up at the airport, attending children’s year- end performances at school, etc.)
Make Generosity Meaningful: If your company tradition includes an expression of generosity as the year winds down, strive to make that generosity meaningful. A gift of free childcare and a day off to run errands and shop might mean a lot more to employees with children than a wallet or gift basket would. In other words, gift according to what matters to your employees not what matters to you.
Helping your employees survive the holidays is about simplifying their lives and reducing stress so they can handle the extra demands of the season. In turn, this will help them stay focused when they are working and let them come through the next few weeks less frazzled, more joyous and primed for a new year.
From everyone here at NetSuite TribeHR, have a safe and joyous holiday season.
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Photo by Frédéric Bisson, Flickr
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Mars Orbit Undocking by SpaceGuy5, Wikimedia Commons
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World Cup 2014 by Thomas, Wikimedia Commons
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Earth by Azcolvin429, Wikimedia Commons
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