Picture source: American Hotel & Lodging Educational Institute
Christmas is here again and everyone is preparing for the upcoming days of festive bliss and relaxation. Stress and anxiety during the holiday season is often due to a combination of personal and professional reasons. On the other hand, we have to travel, buy gifts, decorate the house, entertain relatives and do many other jobs that require time and planning. On the other hand, at the end of the year, as deadlines approach, work schedules become increasingly hectic as people make plans for next year and cram in as much work as possible to create days off. Of course, sudden drops in temperature can also cause health problems. When you put it all together, it's easy to see that maintaining a healthy balance can be a big challenge.
For this reason, here are 5 strategies to manage holiday stress and keep your employees satisfied through this admittedly difficult time of the year.
1. Organize Your Workload Early On
The holiday season can be extremely demanding as personal and professional commitments are always competing for some of an employee's time. Maintaining a balance between the two requires a fair amount of planning in advance. First of all, you need to plan your holiday carefully so that you can take care of personal matters without meeting deadlines. Speaking of which, you should keep your expectations in mind and avoid cramming too many projects into the end of the year. If you're not a negotiator, start preparing months in advance so your team can handle the workload without becoming overwhelmed. By sticking to a schedule and delegating tasks fairly, you can keep productivity high without hurting morale.
2. Leverage Cross-Training
Since most employees want to take approximately the same number of days off during their vacation, some positions may remain vacant for several days. In the event of a crisis, this can naturally lead to serious problems. This is why it's important to utilize cross-training to help employees understand how to handle the tasks and responsibilities of their teammates in the event of an absence. Cross-training can also be a valuable tool if an employee becomes ill or needs to deal with a personal emergency. Start early so everyone feels comfortable and can work on different tasks before it gets busy.
3. Encourage Teamwork
It would be a big mistake to try to handle the many tasks that lie ahead on your own by the end of the year. It creates more anxiety, leading to frustration and burnout. Instead, remind your employees that we are stronger together. Not only can you discuss your concerns with a trusted colleague, but you can also share your workload if possible. Additionally, working with a team can lead to creative solutions simply by looking at things from a different perspective. Either way, being part of a support team can help you better cope with holiday stress and make the entire season more enjoyable.
4. Minimize Distractions
There's no avoiding the responsibilities that pile up towards the end of the year. However, dealing with holiday stress will be easier if you stay focused. Please avoid surfing the internet during work hours and secure a separate office space so that you can work with peace of mind. Also, be generous with your email response times so you don't have to stop every time someone sends a message. Another important point is to meet only when necessary to make the most of every minute you have at work.
5. Rely On Managers To Support Their Teams
Leaders play the most important role in helping employees manage work-related holiday stress. They not only constantly communicate with the team, but also take responsibility for their own tasks. This allows you to coordinate your tasks, goals, and deadlines so that you can complete your work with the least amount of stress possible. But you also need to know how to talk about stress, recognize its symptoms, and equip your team with tools to improve efficiency, such as project management techniques and mindfulness. Proper training throughout the year prepares leaders and managers for times of extreme stress and demand.
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.
Source: eLearning Industry