By Lee-Ann Watanabe, Wellness Educator

With the holidays and 2020 fast approaching, employees are under the gun. End of the year budgets and project deadlines coupled with personal holiday obligations, and it’s no wonder that you may be noticing frantic energy in the office air. The holiday season can be downright stressful!

Why Holiday Stress Should Matter to Employers

Starting conversations about holiday stress with your team alleviates the stigma that speaking about stress is a sign of weakness. Employers should seek to create an environment where employees feel comfortable saying “I’m stressed” and can reach out to others for support.

We never know what a person is genuinely feeling unless they speak up about it. Creating a safe space for our employees to be vulnerable allows an employer to provide the necessary support for their employees. This trusting relationship between employee and employer is of utmost importance, especially if an employee’s stress ever becomes uncontrollable and/or unbearable. Early detection is the best protection!

Tips on How to Help Employees Dealing with Holiday Stress

  • Reach Out. Poll your employees asking how they want to celebrate the holidays at the office.
  • Be Inclusive. The holidays should always be an important time at companies. Ensuring that employees have the ability to recognize national or other holidays, at work and in their personal lives, helps to make the workplace enjoyable for everyone.
  • Be flexible. Flexible work schedules, time off, and remote work can alleviate stress for workers. Why not offer employees an extra day off leading up to the holidays to allow them to take care of their personal tasks? A small gesture like this can go a long way in terms of an employee’s gratitude and loyalty.
  • Give the gift of your time. As leaders, we need to create an environment where your team members feel comfortable and safe. Ask your team how they’re doing. Listen with compassion, empathy, and kindness. If needed, offer help.
  • Review current workloads. Are projects piling up year-end? Can certain deadlines be pushed back into the new year? Are you able to redistribute workloads to ensure that everyone is comfortable with the weight they are carrying at the office? Checking in with your time during the hectic holiday season, where demands and pressure seem to be heightened, these check-ins with your workforce can due wonders in terms of employee productivity, their emotional wellbeing and their employee morale.

Use your wellness program as a way to support employees with stress-reduction techniques such as meditation breaks or breathing exercises employees can do during their work day. Encourage employees to reach out for help if their holiday stress gets overwhelming.

At WYAO Hawaii our mission is clear and simple: Saving Lives – One Company at a Time! We use a systemic approach that is hands-on and results-driven.

We realize that your employees are your most important asset and it is our privilege to work with them. The result? A happy, thriving and productive workforce! Schedule a free consultation with us today!

WYAO Hawaii is designed to support companies in the shift from an ‘activity-based’ wellness program to a thriving, integrated results-oriented wellness system. We are grounded in a nationally recognized and research-based model to assist companies through a seven-step sequence toward Workplace Wellness Success.

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