Four Tips For Managing Festive Stress This Silly Season

Essential tips to help you and your staff cope with festive stress!

First published on Monday, Dec 11, 2023

Last updated on Tuesday, Dec 12, 2023

4 min read

The holiday season can be a stressful time for employees and employers alike.

As rewarding and restful as the season can be, it’s also a hectic time of year that can at times put a strain on your mental wellbeing.

With workloads piling up, finances getting tight, family coming to stay, and school holidays impacting childcare arrangements—it’s safe to say that while the season may be festive, it does come with a few extra stressors.

So, here are some tips for managing stress and ensuring you and your employees have a restful break.

1) Create a culture of switching off and reset your team

Unless you work in an industry where you must be available or reachable at all hours, it’s important, for you and your employees, to take a break from work emails.

Switching off on holiday is hard, especially if you manage a team or work in an industry where a full holiday shutdown isn’t feasible. But having a minimum of three days over the holiday period to forget about work will mean you and your team can be far more productive and refreshed when you get back to it in January.

So, it’s best practice to give your staff a break to allow them to focus on recharging for the new year. That way they’ll come back to work rested and ready for whatever 2024 has in store.

2) Set the right boundaries

It’s the most wonderful time of the year with work dos and parties galore!

But make sure you have the right employee policies in place before you get too caught up in planning…

Remember you’re still responsible for your employees and it’s important to treat workplace parties as an extension of the workplace.

Work celebrations like the end-of-year holiday party are a great opportunity to wind down and build a relationship with your employees. But they can also be unpredictable if alcohol is involved and could even lead to employee complaints and claims in extreme cases.

For expert advice on the Christmas do’s and Christmas don’ts, ask BrightLightning: Do I have to allocate a supervisor at the Christmas party, Holiday Party or work function?

3) Manage annual leave and flexible working requests fairly

When it comes to holidays, planning ahead of time with your workforce is key.

The end of the year is always a busy time. Whether that's because your employee has kids or caring responsibilities, they want to travel back to their hometown to spend time with family, or are involved in community events. It can get hectic!

Even though you should have fair processes all year round, it’s especially important at this time of year to make sure you’re handling annual leave and requests for flexible working as fairly as possible.

4) Offer your staff more support

Not everyone celebrates this season the same way.

The season can become overwhelming for anyone. Not only can it get stressful, but it can also be emotionally draining for those who may have lost loved ones, are away from family, or are celebrating differently this year.

Your employees could be grappling with many different things as the year comes to a close, which is why it’s best to be understanding and offer support that can make this period smoother for your teams.

Since it can also be an expensive time of year, especially as the cost of living continues to hit households hard it’s important to offer your employees practical help. Whether that’s by offering them extra shifts they can pick up on a first come first serve basis. Or, by offering staff low-cost perks and discounts to help them find affordable gifts for their loved ones.

A happy holiday season is just a few workplace decisions away!

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