Silly Season Stress

Making the most of the festive season in the workplace

The holiday countdown has begun! And for most, this is the time when stress at home and in the workplace starts to mount… Between shopping for presents, planning catch ups, busy work schedules and work parties, it is not uncommon to feel overwhelmed during the Christmas season. Workers can encounter increased symptoms of perfectionism and social anxiety throughout this time of year. This means managers must remain on high alert and be conscious of their employees.

The term ‘stress less’ is much more easier said than done for most, especially in the workplace. Sometimes the festive season can increase stress on workers, due to ongoing demands to finish in time for the break. This is a good time for managers to introduce the conversation around a positive work/life balance.

It’s a good idea to implement beneficial levels of support during this time, particularly on a more social level. This could be checking in regularly to see how employees are going and thanking them for all their hard work throughout the year. When showing your appreciation and giving thanks don’t just send a generic email to everyone, but actually reach out face-to-face. Employees will appreciate the gesture and reward you through their work.  The ‘just get it done’ culture is not appropriate in the weeks leading up to Christmas. Extra support should be administrated, whether it’s cutting workloads or extending deadlines to the New Year. An alternative, is hiring additional temporary staff to take on extra work if deadlines cannot be altered.

Here are some tips and tricks for Managers to implement during the silly season:

  1. Communicate regularly with employees: adopt a “door always open” approach, remaining approachable to all employees at all times.
  2. Monitor workloads: regularly review workloads to ensure individuals aren’t handling excessive amounts of work on their own. If so, assign others to assist or if possible hire temps to take on some of the load.
  3. Don’t see stress as a weakness: stress shouldn’t be regarded as a downfall of your employees. Encourage open discussions with your team regarding pressure sources and take action if required.
  4. Be aware of change: no matter how big or how small, change always has an impact on employees. When change occurs, stress can follow. Ensure you are transparent about change with your employees and walk them through step-by-step.
  5. Share your plans: if appropriate, be open with your business strategy and share plans for the upcoming year. Let your team look forward to the New Year with you.
  6. And finally, but most importantly, encourage festive cheer! Be open to decorating the office, putting a tree up and a Secret Santa. This way your employees will look forward to the upcoming festivities but also enjoy the Christmas cheer around the office.

 

About The Author – Shannon Lippert

As PKL Recruitment’s New South Wales Branch Manager, Shannon is responsible for both the Temporary and Permanent Divisions. Since joining the PKL Recruitment team in 2013, Shannon has always lead from the front, guiding and growing the Sydney PKL Recruitment Branch to be one of the most successful recruitment teams in Sydney. Contact Shannon directly on shannon.lippert@pkl.com.au or on LinkedIn.