Winter, particularly during the holidays can be hard for many of us. Financial stress, an inundation of events and other time commitments, strained family relations, and feelings of loneliness can seem to hit harder this time of year. It’s important for employers and HR professionals to offer ways for employees to manage and cope with it all.
Fortunately, there are ample solutions when it comes to helping folks get through trying times, not just in winter but year round. Here are some ideas that your company might consider putting into place.
- Allow scheduling flexibility. Maybe some employees may choose to come in or leave work early in order to grab some vitamin d before the sun goes down to help alleviate seasonal affective disorder (SAD). It could be that they need a little extra time to run errands or even just to catch up on rest. Allowing an early in or out could make all the difference to morale and will help avoid burnout.
Letting employees work from home one or more days a week can also give a little respite from the hustle and bustle of the office.
- Encourage use of paid time off. So many Americans don’t take advantage of their paid time off. In many cases, that time doesn’t roll over to the next year and is simply lost. Remind employees they’ve earned that time and encourage them to take full advantage of it.
- Avoid big projects or deadlines around the holidays. Everyone has enough on their plate without worrying about having to work in a time crunch or on an overwhelming project. If possible, plan the big stuff around less stressful times. If there’s just no way to do that, try to schedule extra help or have meals brought in or find extra resources to help.
- Allow company time to volunteer. Helping others is a great way to feel better. By allowing employees to volunteer on company time, employers show they care not only about that employee but the community as a whole.
- Offer financial health workshops.These can be offered at any time and for general financial health, but having a holiday budgeting workshop could be a lifesaver for some employees.
- Most importantly, encourage dialogue between employees, supervisors, and HR professionals. Keep those lines of communication open and employees will feel better opening up and everyone can work together to find solutions to whatever problems there are.
We all get stressed out from time to time. Having systems in place to show employees that they are valued and heard will make those times that are even more stressful much easier for everyone to handle.