Give Your Employees a Break in December

‘Tis the season for the year-end in the workplace. Vacations are planned, parties are thrown, and many companies experience the end-of-the-year wind down. It’s also a time of great stress and anxiety for many. At a time when the season is supposed to represent joy, lights, and happiness, often times brings stress, anxiety, and loneliness. As you’re celebrating a great year or pushing your employee’s to finish strong, give them a break. Remember this time is always holiday lights and Elves on the Shelves for everyone.

December is a great month. It’s a time when companies are celebrating. Many business start to slow down from a hectic year and the PTO days increase. Employees are wrapping up big projects and trying to prepare for the next year.

It’s also a busy time for some departments. Finance and Accounting are prepping to close the books. HR professionals are knee-deep in their performance management and compensation process. Us HR pros are pushing leaders to complete reviews and feedback and balance their merit and bonus pools to the hundredth of a percent. God forbid the business go a little bit over to reward their people.

This is also one of the most stressful times of the year for people. Credit cards rack up, families don’t get along, and the emotions or in high at this time. I found a great article from the Mayo Clinic that offers some great advice to follow during the season. This is great advice all year-long, too.

My boss had a great saying. She always starts every session or meeting by stating, “Allow some space for grace.” Don’t be too quick to pounce on someone’s thoughts or ideas. Honor their presence and give them a break. Employees are going through a lot and that stress is heightened at the end of the year.

And make sure you take time to care for yourself. Those PTO days don’t go away by themselves. Maintain healthy habits. Even though the weather may be colder for a majority of the US, get away from your desk and take a walk. Take advantage of your company’s Employee Assistance Program. Grab that winter gear and take a run. Pass on that “last call” at the holiday party. But don’t skip dessert. You’ve earned it.

Enjoy this season. It’s a time of good cheer and reflection. Take care of those around you and take care of yourself. Allow for a little grace and back off the accelerator for a minute.

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