Four Ways to Support Your Employees During the Holidays
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While many of us love this time of year, it can be challenging for others. For some, the Christmas season represents family, friends, celebration, and fun. For others, it signifies pain, lost family traditions, grief, anxiety, loneliness, and depression. Many people experience the holiday blues due to the pain of being single without family and friends, grieving loved ones, stressful family gatherings, and more. According to Nami, “holiday blues” are temporary feelings of anxiety or depression during the holidays that can be associated with extra stress, unrealistic expectations, or memories that accompany the season. Some people who experience holiday blues may encounter other feelings of tension, frustration, loneliness, a sense of loss, fatigue, irritation, situational sadness, and loss of focus. It can be hard for your employees to cope while maintaining their workload, so here are four ways to support your employees during the holidays.
Learning about your employees and how you can support them is essential, and you can do this by creating an employee survey regarding holiday blues. You can engage with them by asking if they have experienced sadness around the holidays in the past. This will give you an opportunity to specifically ask how they would like to be supported while also suggesting ways you can aid them.
2. Acquire Extra Support
If you learn that you have employees who encounter the holiday blues, consider hiring people who can support them through the season. Support can include hiring a therapist specializing in cognitive behavioral therapy to speak to your employees. You can also arrange a speaking event where grief specialists, counselors, people who have learned to overcome the holiday blues, and more can give testimonies, information, tips, etc.
3. Workplace Traditions
One thing many people miss around this time of year is family traditions. Creating workplace traditions may not necessarily replace your employees’ family traditions, but it can give them something to look forward to. Some practices you can consider implementing include:
Volunteer Work: As a group, you all can volunteer at a homeless shelter, foster care facilities, retirement homes, nursing homes, hospitals, and more. You can also host your own volunteering event. Perhaps you can all go shopping to purchase toys for less fortunate children. Maybe you can rent a space where you all can cook and prepare a meal for people experiencing homelessness. You can also consider doing something different each year and allow your employees to suggest a cause dear to them.
Employee Dinner: Consider renting a hall where you can set up a Christmas tree with employee gifts and dinner. Customize the event to center your workers and celebrate who they are outside of work.
Employee Outing: Remember going on field trips as a child? Let’s bring that back. Consider having an employee outing. Perhaps you all can go to the movies, ice skating, a holiday festival, a musical, etc. If possible, have your outing during working hours. You can also allow your employees to vote on where to go.
As mentioned, some people have difficulty getting through the holidays because they face a lot of grief. Having a memorial to remember your employees’ loved ones is a great way to show that you care. You could create a space in the breakroom to remember them and allow your employees to share memories and support one another.
The holidays represent fun and family, but let’s remember those who deal with stress, grief, and pain. For more ideas or support, subscribe to our list, and be sure to reach out if you need help.
Happy Holidays from your Guide to HR Team.