Six Tips to Help Your Employees Manage Their Holiday Stress

Six Tips to Help Your Employees Manage Their Holiday Stress

by Tracey Wallace, on November 21, 2016
The holiday season can be “The most wonderful time of the year” as the old Andy Williams song goes, but the holidays can also bring on added stress for your employees and that added stress can quickly impact your business.

In a study by the ADAA (Anxiety and Depression Association of America), employees who report having daily stress say that, in the workplace, stress often impacts:  workplace performance/productivity, relationships with coworkers and peers, quality of work, and relationships with superiors1.

Here are 6 tips on how you can identify workplace stress and what you can do to help your employees through the busy holiday season.

  1. Increase Awareness
    During the holidays, normal stress is exacerbated by a number of things. A study by Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research (2006)2 identified several key findings, a few of which include:

    -Holiday stress has a particular impact on women (who take charge of many of the holiday celebrations).

    -People who have a lower middle income ($30,000-$50,000) are more likely to feel holiday stress (the hype and commercialism of the season causes increased stress by putting pressure on them to spend a lot of money).

    -Men and women alike feel a duty to make the holidays the best they can for their families. Work stress is often centered around trying to achieve a work-family balance during the holidays.

  2. Recognize the Symptoms
    Stress affects everyone differently. Symptoms to look out for include: headaches, sleep disturbances, fatigue, exhaustion, difficulty concentrating, short temper, upset stomach, low job satisfaction and morale, aching muscles, loss of appetite, changes in behavior while at work, inability to make a decision, and a decline in productivity and work performance.

  3. Be Flexible
    Getting holiday shopping done, preparing for houseguests, and organizing family get-togethers may require time during normal working hours to complete. Allowing employees to take a long lunch hour, or leave an hour early to take care of personal tasks can go a long way in easing holiday stress and improving morale.

  4. Remain Visible
    During stressful times it is very important for employees to know that management is supportive. Just being visible and available to your staff through face-to-face meetings, regular staff meetings, and walking around the workplace can help to foster an environment of open communication.

  5. Celebrate Mindfully
    Get your staffs’ input on holiday celebrations. You may find that the majority of your staff would prefer to celebrate during working hours, instead of having a celebration after hours. Or, if you have multiple celebrations, consider having just one to be respectful of employees’ personal time. Also, be mindful of cultural differences in your team. Finally, this time of year some people experience holiday situational sadness due to an event or a loss that has affected them. Include them in activities without pressuring them to celebrate.

  6. Provide Resources
    If you have an employee that expresses they are experiencing workplace stress, one resource you can direct them to is your company’s Employee Assistance Program, if you have one. For Landrum clients, you can direct your employees to Landrum’s website at and scroll down to Employee Assistance Program for more information.

Once the holidays are over, it may take some time for everyone to get back in a routine. So much energy goes into the holiday season, it can be almost a letdown when it is over. Energize your staff by focusing on the new year and goal planning to help them move forward.



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