How To Deal With Work-Related Stress During The Holiday Season
Christmas is here once again, and everyone is preparing for the days of festive bliss and relaxation ahead. But…pause for a second. For employees to get to enjoy these wonderful moments with their loved ones, they first need to get the large end-of-year workload sorted. This can cause significant stress and often lead to burnout. If you don’t want such negative feelings to mar the last month of the year, you need to be prepared. For this reason, we share with you this article that explores 5 strategies to manage holiday stress and keep your employees satisfied through this admittedly difficult time of the year.
What Are The Causes Of Holiday Stress?
Often, stress and anxiety during the holiday season occur due to a combination of personal and work-related reasons. On the one hand, we have traveling, shopping for gifts, decorating the house, hosting relatives, and other responsibilities that require a lot of time and planning. On the other hand, the work schedule becomes heavier towards the end of the year, with deadlines approaching, planning for the next year, and cramming as much work as possible to have time to take days off. Of course, all that is on top of any health issues that might occur as the temperatures quickly drop. When we combine it all, it’s easy to see that maintaining a healthy balance becomes a great challenge. Keep reading to discover ways to combat the tensions that come with the holiday season.
5 Tips To Keep Holiday Stress At Bay
1. Organize Your Workload Early On
The holiday season can be exceptionally demanding, with personal and professional responsibilities constantly battling for chunks of your staff’s time. Maintaining the balance between the two requires a significant amount of planning beforehand. Firstly, you must carefully plan days off so that employees are able to tend to their personal affairs without missing deadlines. Speaking of which, you must manage your expectations and refrain from cramming too many projects for the end of the year. If they are non-negotiable, make sure to start preparing for them a couple of months before so that your team can manage the workload without becoming overwhelmed. Sticking to the timeline and delegating tasks fairly will keep productivity high without impacting morale.
2. Leverage Cross-Training
Considering that most employees want pretty much the same days off during the holidays, some positions may be left uncovered for a few days. Naturally, that can cause significant problems if any crisis arises. For this reason, it’s important to utilize cross-training so that employees know how to handle the tasks and responsibilities of their teammates in case of absence. Cross-training can also be a valuable tool for when employees call in sick or have to deal with a personal emergency. Just make sure to get started early so that everyone feels comfortable taking on different tasks before things get hectic.
3. Encourage Teamwork
Trying to take on the numerous tasks that lead up to the end of the year alone is a huge mistake. It will result in additional anxiety and leave your employees frustrated and burnt out. Instead, remind your workforce that, together, they are stronger. Not only can they discuss what troubles them with a trusted colleague, but they can also share the workload if possible. Additionally, collaborating with your team can also lead you to creative solutions simply by viewing things from a different perspective. In any case, being part of a supportive team can make holiday stress much more manageable and the season in general more enjoyable.
4. Minimize Distractions
There’s no working around the responsibilities that pile up towards the end of the year. However, it’s easier to manage the holiday stress when remaining focused. It’s essential that you encourage employees to refrain from browsing during work hours and provide them with individual office spaces so that they work in peace. Additionally, be lenient with email response times so that they don’t have to interrupt what they’re doing every time someone messages them. Another important thing is only meeting when necessary to take full advantage of every working minute. Finally, if you’re planning an office party, make sure it doesn’t interfere with their already packed schedules too much. Plan ahead so that everyone has the time to take care of their tasks and have fun carefree.
5. Rely On Managers To Support Their Teams
Leaders play the most important role in helping employees manage work-related holiday stress. Not only are they in constant communication with their teams, but they are also responsible for their tasks. As a result, they can adjust tasks, goals, and deadlines to support them in getting the job done with as little stress as possible. But they must also be able to speak about stress, recognize its symptoms, and know how to provide their teams with tools that will boost their efficiency, such as techniques for project management and mindfulness. Proper training throughout the year will prepare leaders and managers for highly stressful and demanding periods of time.
Starting The New Year On The Right Foot
Ending the year on a positive note is essential for employee engagement and satisfaction. The more successful you are in achieving this, the more refreshed and motivated your staff will be when they return from their Christmas break. Follow the tips we shared in this article to help them manage holiday stress and lay the ground for a productive and successful year ahead.