The holiday season brings so much fun and excitement!  It also brings stress… stress that can easily infiltrate your workplace, and often cripples employees.

On top of all of our busy personal schedules, we still have deadlines that must be met, office parties to attend, gift exchanges to buy for….the list seems to never end.  Feeling overwhelmed by responsibilities, disappointed by unrealistic expectations, and worried about money are some of the chief symptoms of the holiday blues.  Productivity in the workplace often suffers as a result.

I was reading an article from ClearRock Leadership and loved the suggestions they gave for managing workplace stress and anxiety during the holidays.

  1. Help where you can. We know the holidays are coming.  It’s not a surprise.  Ask employees what you can do to help reduce their stress.  Ask if they would like to postpone the company party until January.  If you are hosting a pot luck lunch, ask if people would rather have pizza brought in so no one has to cook.  Perhaps, you can give everyone one hour on Cyber Monday to go online and shop so they don’t feel like they have to sneak screen time to get the deal on the gift their child really wants at a price they don’t want to miss.
  2. Be generous with “thank you.” People are often extending themselves at this time of year, make sure you are going out of your way to notice their good work and say thank you.  Also, be aware of anyone that may need an extra word of encouragement or some additional support like employees who have lost a loved one this year or those with little or no family in the area.  Making sure they know you care can go a long way in retaining employees.
  3. Remain visible. Don’t confine yourself to your office and make employees wonder if changes are about to happen … again.  As with any other time of the year, managers need to show interest in what’s on employees’ minds through individual face-to-face meetings, regular staff meetings, walking around the workplace, and after-hours get-together’s.
  4. Involve employees in decisions. Are you decorating the office?  Choosing a charity to make a donation instead of buying gifts for your clients?  Hosting a toy drive?  Ask employees to get involved and let them select which charities you will support so they will feel empowered and engaged.
  5. Encourage time off. Encourage people to take advantage of that with a vacation day or a 1/2 day Friday to do their holiday shopping, decorate their house, get their baking done, or just relax and enjoy the season.  They will likely come back in a better frame of mind and be more productive. 

Of course, these are merely suggestions.  The point is, be mindful of others, and their lives outside of work.  Showing love and compassion to employees will be decrease stress and make a much more cheerful season!  I wish everyone a stress-free season, filled with love, peace and joy!