As the nights draw in, mince pies appear on supermarket shelves, and Mariah Carey blasts out the radio, it can only mean one thing: Christmas! A time for celebration, joy and… stress!
In the midst of all the holiday frenzy, it's crucial for employers to recognise the impact this season can have on their staff, particularly those affected by mental health issues.
So, how can we ensure that we're supporting staff wellbeing during the festive season? Here are a few tips to help you make a positive difference:
1. Embrace the festivities!
Plan some social activities that bring the spirit of the season into the workplace. Whilst traditional office parties might have taken different forms in recent years, there are still plenty of ways to connect and have fun. As remote workers at Premier IT, we value regular meetings to catch up over Teams, with staff taking turns to create their own themed quizzes to bring some knowledge from their hometowns or personal interests! You could also consider virtual games, secret Santa gift exchanges, or themed dress-up days to boost morale and foster a sense of togetherness.
2. Promote time off
Encourage employees to take advantage of their holiday allowance. With the end of the year approaching, many may have accrued unused annual leave. Remind them of the importance of rest and relaxation, urging them to disconnect and recharge. We have recently introduced a ‘Right to Disconnect’ policy at Premier IT, clearly outlining employee rights to peace on their time off and reassurance knowing they will not be expected to be available. This time away from work will pay dividends in their overall wellbeing and job satisfaction.
3. Managing workloads
It's essential to ensure that workloads are manageable during this busy season. Check-in with your employees and create an open line of communication where they feel comfortable discussing any concerns or challenges they may be facing. By actively listening and finding solutions together, you can help alleviate stress and prevent burnout. It may also be beneficial to release an anonymous employee wellbeing survey, allowing staff to answer questions honestly without fear of repercussions.
4. Showing appreciation
‘Tis the season of gratitude, so grasp the opportunity to let your team know how much you appreciate their efforts. A simple thank you note, a small gift, or a heartfelt message can go a long way in making employees feel valued and recognised. Research has shown that happier teams are more productive, so by keeping your team energised and creative, you'll not only boost their wellbeing, but also help to ensure better success of your organisation.
5. Show support for mental health
Mental Health at Work has never been more important and it is essential for employers to foster an environment of understanding and support. Encourage open conversations about mental health, provide resources and training programs, and create a culture where seeking help is seen as a strength, not a weakness.
With a little extra effort and thoughtfulness from managers and senior staff, employees will feel assured knowing that supporting their wellbeing is not just a seasonal gesture, but a year-round commitment. The ultimate aim should be to create a workplace where every member of the team feels valued, supported, and ready to thrive.
Let’s cheers to a happier and healthier festive season!
For more resources on supporting employee mental health, click here.