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Looking after employee wellbeing this festive period

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Well we’ve nearly made it, the end is in sight – we can almost begin reflecting on 2021 and setting our goals for 2022. The joyous sounds of Mariah Carey and Michael Bublé are being met with ever-quieter groans, which must mean only one thing: the festive Season is here! Town centres are bright with Christmas lights, the decorations are up in various workplaces and talk of the ‘end of year do’ will be coming up. People will be practicing their dance moves, in excited anticipation. 

All joking aside, this time of year can be very stressful for some. Thoughts of buying gifts for friends and family can feel quite overwhelming; worries around money and affordability; will people like the gifts they are bought? Shorter days and longer, darker nights. Seasonal Affective Disorder, or ‘winter depression’ can set in. When all of this is paired with increased pressure around end-of-year deadlines and the need to get work done in a shorter space of time, in order to properly enjoy any downtime, it’s easy to see why this isn’t the most wonderful time of the year for many. 

As humans, we tend to let the pressure build up, rather than nipping potential issues in the bud early on, potentially reducing those stressors before they escalate. While a lot of these issues are outside of our control, when it comes to supporting employees, there are many things that can be done to ensure work-related stress is at a minimum.

Employee wellbeing is arguably most important consideration for the HR function, with heightened responsibility and need at this time of year. Putting procedures in place to support and manage workloads; putting on light-hearted employee wellbeing workshops; creating workplace initiatives around volunteering and helping others to bring about that ‘feel good factor’ at this time of year. At HR Circle, we also recommend that our clients utilise our Wellbeing Check-In, to ensure employees have an opportunity to share exactly what is impacting their wellbeing at the moment and what mechanisms can be applied to support and improve.

Many employees are uncomfortable with communicating with their manager and letting them know they’re overwhelmed at the moment, and it’s completely rational to feel this way! The Wellbeing Check-In flips this on its head as it is a much more proactive, tech-enabled approach, meaning people are more comfortable engaging with this process. 

Whatever you do this festive period, make sure you move employee wellbeing to the top of the list! 

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