Help Staff Look Up During the Holidays
In modern times, it is common knowledge that general depression increases during the holidays. Not everyone can live up to the media hype: a happy family, couple, or group of friends. A lot of people don’t have enough money to buy gifts, and—even though we tell them it’s okay–it still hurts emotionally and socially to not participate. Some people do not have family, have suffered a familial loss, are lonely, or have few friends nearby. These are just a few of the reasons that the holidays prove to be the hardest time of the year for some.
Employees will still come to work, despite feeling depressed. This is called presenteeism, and costs up to 400% more than absenteeism through lost productivity (4) . Businesses experience a loss of 2.14 days per employee because of presenteeism (5).
Watch for signs of stress and depression in your staff. This can include declining productivity, loss of team work, lower morale, and a spike in injuries or near misses.
Educate your staff. Knowledge is powerful for employees who are feeling depressed during the holidays. Sharing information will also show you understand, and reduce the stigma the employee may be feeling. Make sure whatever you do is kept discrete.
Consider, if possible, a flexible work schedule. A study by Accenture notes that 54% of staff said flexible hours during the Holidays would reduce stress.
Encourage employees to:
· Turn off their personal social devices at work;
· Take frequent breaks from display screens;
· Be aware of signs of stress in their bodies;
· Give time for regular sleep;
· Focus on personal wellbeing: eat well, exercise, relax, plan ahead
· Not be so hard on themselves
· Lower expectations about how the Holidays will turn out
Most importantly, ask them how you can help! Don’t go in with KPIs. Go in person to person. Sometimes a depressed or stressed employee will open up and, through doing so, release a lot of what has been bothering them.
Just talking about it helps! *
Sources: 1-Psychology Today; 2-All One Health; 3-Keep Safe This Christmas, 2012, NHS Choices; 4-All One Health; 5-All One Health