It’s the most wonderful time of the year.
Or is it?
We all know that the holiday season is also the most stressful time of the year. Parties and gifts and family bring joy, but bringing them all together – that’s a different story.
Think about the parking lots and crowded shops, the race to find that perfect gift and cooking holiday dinner for 25. Now add to that the workplace stressors, like compressed deadlines, canceled meetings and year-end reports, and you’ve got a recipe for a heaping helping of stress.
In a recent study of nearly 1,000 working moms, Care.com took a hard look at how juggling work, child care and household duties bubble up and manifest – to the tune of one in four moms admitting to crying at work at least once a week.
"From office meetings to the endless list of errands to the all-important role of raising kids, it's no surprise that an overwhelming majority (80 percent) of moms feel stressed about getting everything done," said Donna Levin, co-founder and vice president of policy, CSR and Workplace Solutions at Care.com, in an interview with Yahoo Finance. “It's clear from this survey that many moms are sacrificing more than just 'me' time in the juggling act of trying to do it all."
The hectic holiday season only magnifies the amount of stress working mothers feel. And when your employees are feeling frazzled, it’s harder for them to bring their best selves to work every day.
With that in mind, here are five ways you can help your employees stay sane during the holiday season:
- Be Flexible
The holidays are a busy time of year for everyone, regardless of family traditions or religious affiliations. A little bit of flexibility from the employer goes a long way toward helping working parents with their last-minute shopping, school vacations, travel plans or getting the house ready for visiting relatives. Emphasize results, rather than when or where work gets done, and you can save your employees a couple of holiday headaches.
- Give Back
Remind your employees you value their contributions to your organization by giving a token of your appreciation. Whether it’s an extravagant gift, fancy party, seasonal greeting card or a simple pot luck in the office kitchen, do something to show you care. And find a local cause, like a shelter or food pantry, to rally charitable efforts. By embracing the spirit of the season can reward you with improved employee engagement.
Find more Stress Management Tips for Employees
- Manage Deadlines
Year-end reports, reviews, budgets and open enrollment. ‘Tis the season for work on top of work, while employees, clients, consultants and vendors are scheduling vacations. You know this, and your employees know this. So work together to create more workable deadlines. Nobody should be filling out trip reports at 9:30 p.m.
- Offer Help
Who wouldn’t like an extra set of hands? The top reason working moms hire help is to spend more time with their family, and three out of four who’ve hired help say it reduced their overall stress levels. Companies offering lifestyle benefits, like connecting people with household help, bringing in a masseuse for a day, having on-site grocery delivery and even offering manicures at the office. These types of things take things off the employee’s to do list – and make you the hero.