The holidays are around the corner. A time for cheer, holiday parties, gift giving and more. However, for some of your employees, the holidays may be filled with anxiety, not joy.
In their personal lives they may be dealing with the pressure of buying gifts, stress about potential family disagreements across the table, or loneliness due to the loss of a loved one during the year. In their professional lives, your employees may be concerned about meeting goals by year’s end, finishing up projects before taking time off, fulfilling last-minute requests about holiday bookings – all while keeping an optimistic attitude toward customers and co-workers.
In an article published by the American Management Association (AMA) they wrote, “According to experts, more people become depressed or anxious during the holidays than any other time of year. Feeling overwhelmed by responsibilities, disappointed by unrealistic expectations and worried about money are some of the chief symptoms of the holiday blues.”
How can you help those stressed-out employees gain a sense of calm?
Here are 5 timely tips to help alleviate their holiday strain so they feel appreciated and supported:
1. Flexible hours leading up to the holidays can relieve stress
If employees are anxious about finding time to take care of holiday details (before family arrives), giving them a day off helps them with prep time, taking some stress off their shoulders.
2. Offer to let them work remotely if applicable
If your employees aren’t already working remotely, give them the option to do so one or two days a week. This gives them the opportunity to get their work done, but also pay attention to family responsibilities. Showing that you trust them to get their job done, regardless of whether they’re in the office or at home, boosts their confidence levels.
3. Check in with your team members on a consistent basis
If you’re not already doing this, the holidays are a good time to start. A regular one-on-one conversation allows you to ask how they’re handling any holiday stress – be it personal or professional. It also builds trust and allows them to voice any concerns they have or challenges they’re facing. Sometimes all a person needs is someone to be a good listener and hear them out.
4. Encourage health and wellness activities
Give employees break times that are long enough for them to get outside and walk, do yoga, work out, meditate, or even run a holiday-related errand. These are well-known anxiety alleviators and mental health boosters. Consider bringing in a wellness coach to deliver a session about ways to manage holiday stress – both in and out of the office.
5. Set realistic expectations
As the end of the year approaches, it’s a good time to review any outstanding projects and consider re-prioritizing. Be realistic about what your employees can achieve given the end-of-the-year crunch. Do they really need to complete every single project that was on their to-do lists? Review any outstanding projects and determine if they can be revisited and addressed after the first of the year. If so, you may hear a surprising sigh of relief – and appreciation – from your team.
Holidays in the hospitality industry can certainly be more stressful than other industries. And, when you add COVID to the mix, you have a recipe for even more tension and anxiety. Whether your employees handle room reservations, special occasion celebrations, or food & beverage, help them find balance leading up to the holiday season with these five tips. You’ll discover a happier, calmer workforce as a result. And, don’t forget to take care of yourself as well. Happy holidays from Hcareers!