While the holidays are times of joy, they can also be extremely tiring and stressful. After all, there are a litany of events and/or parties to attend not to mention a to-do or gift list a mile long to fulfill. In addition, the stress that accompanies holiday merriment also tends to invade the office this time of year, likely due to all the added pressures outside of work. Thankfully, you can lessen the load and stressors of the season by making the following HR-related changes.
How Can You Reduce Your HR-Related Stress?
This is a stressful time of year and HR itself can already be a stressful environment. However, there are some ways you can make the season a little less intense on your HR department, which are listed below:
1. Don’t be Available 24/7
When it comes to HR-related duties there are rarely true emergencies. Therefore, set up hours of operation and stick with them relating to your HR duties. Don’t make the mistake of staying on and available 24/7, this doesn't do anyone any good, and it only adds to the overall stress within the workplace. Do yourself a favor, and set boundaries!
2. Create Plans for PTO Requests and Calendar Management
Make sure your HR department has good guidelines in place for PTO requests and calendar management, which will only get more hectic and confusing this time of year. Everyone wants to take off around the holidays, so ensure there are guidelines in place for putting in PTO requests and their subsequent approval. Make sure these guidelines are then communicated to all employees.
3. Review Current HR Workload with Company Management
It’s a good idea to periodically evaluate the workload of your HR department. Now is a great time to do just that and review the current HR workload with your company management.
4. Consider Outsourcing or Pursue Outsourcing of Your HR Tasks
Finally, the last way to take the stress out of your HR department is to consider or pursue outsourcing your HR tasks. This could include outsourcing some HR-related tasks or the entire department’s duties, depending on your company’s current size and the HR workload.
Ways to Lessen Holiday Stress in the Workplace
In addition to the changes within the HR department outlined above, you can make other changes that will lessen the holiday stress of your entire workplace by implementing the following:
Decorate and Make the Office Festive: While you don’t have to create a winter wonderland, it is great for the morale of all your employees if you take time to decorate the office. It can be as simple as a tree, centrally located, or involve decorating each office individually.
Offer More Flexible Hours: There are many demands on your employees’ time throughout the holidays. Often, this means they need to alter the hours in which they work, perhaps allowing for traveling and the like. Consider implementing a flexible work schedule, even just temporarily over the holiday season as this will help your workforce get their to-do list done, and allow them to fulfill their work duties as well.
Don’t Make Things Too Complicated: The holiday season for many people is extremely demanding and stressful. Therefore, one of the worst things you can do is to put even more demands on your employees by having multiple office parties and celebrations they need to prepare for and attend. It’s fine to have one get-together, but it’s important to be understanding if some employees can’t attend due to their family or personal obligations. It’s a busy time of year!
Offer Holiday Bonuses: Another stressor related to the holiday season is financial challenges. After all, even the most generous of budgets get a little taxed with the extra demands of gift-giving and costs of attending holiday and family gatherings. Therefore, providing holiday bonuses is one way to reduce the stress level of your entire workforce.
Encourage Workload Management and Work Ahead Sooner Rather than Later: If you can get ahead in terms of duties, that’s a great way to reduce the stress level and demands on your employees during the holiday season.
Let Employees Work From Home When Needed: During the holiday season, it can be difficult to get everything done during an 8-5 workday. Therefore, sometimes, especially during this time of year, allowing employees to work from home when needed or remotely when traveling can ease a great deal of stress while maintaining production levels.
Holidays are Stressful, but Your Workplace Doesn’t Have to be
The holidays are busy, but there are ways you can reduce stress for yourself and for your workplace overall. Contact our team today to learn more and start a conversation if you are considering a change! Or subscribe to our blog for more helpful HR-related tips and information.