Flexibility can help ease employee stress during the holiday season
While the holidays are a source of happiness and joy for many, more than 70% of Americans struggle to relax this time of year, and nearly half worry about finding the perfect gift. It’s become such a problem that 30% of Americans wish they could ditch gift-giving altogether. Others are bogged down by the rush to keep up with activities and expectations. Organizations need to recognize these pressures and make sure they are connecting with employees during this stressful period. They can start — and pave the way for a wonderful 2020 — right now.
Holiday cheer through the new year and beyond
Employers can celebrate the season with any number of team-focused events, including potlucks, dinners or even a quick brunch. There’s no wrong way to do it — all that matters is that the team feels supported and appreciated.
And it doesn’t have to end with the arrival of the new year. Businesses can continue to boost employee morale by hosting group yoga sessions, company-wide charity fundraisers or a trip to a local event or museum.
This is especially important when considering the research on employee wellness. Our study of 2,000 employees found that almost a third (31%) are kept awake at night by workplace stressors, including their interactions with management and colleagues. This further highlights the tremendous impact the workplace can have on someone’s mental health. In providing a little holiday and new year cheer, businesses can make a big difference and improve employee wellbeing.
The gift that keeps on giving
The vast majority (80%) of HR decision makers agree that flexible working arrangements are important when considering talent retention. In other words, businesses are in a unique position to give the ultimate gift this holiday season: time.
Most employees would value the opportunity to start their day a couple hours early. This would allow them to avoid rush hour and still make it home in time to cook a holiday feast. Others might benefit from a later schedule that allows them to catch up on sleep before the next family visit. For jobs that can be performed from any location, employees would also appreciate the option to work remotely. In turn, employers could reap the benefits of increased productivity.
A present just for them
Gift cards have become one of the most popular gifts during the holiday shopping season. Compared to a homemade scarf or knitted sweater, it might not feel like the most personal option. But it’s very personal to the recipient, who can choose which items to purchase.
Wellness pots — the “gift card” of employee benefits — offer a similar level of freedom. With the flexibility to spend money on things that meet their needs, they are a great way to support employees’ mental and physical wellbeing during the year’s most stressful periods. Whether drum lessons, mindfulness programs or art classes, wellness pots make it easy for employees to choose exactly what they want.
Brighten their spirits
Don’t let the stress of the holidays bring the most wonderful time of the year to a screeching halt. It can be a time of loneliness and anxiety, but organizations can play a huge role in changing that. They can bring employees together for festive gatherings and outings that support their mental and social well being. Businesses can also offer flexible working arrangements that allow each employee to decide when and/or where to start their day. And by empowering their teams with wellness pots, they can provide an unprecedented level of employee choice. Best of all, these benefits can be used to support employees long after the holidays are over — a win-win for any time of the year.