While Christmas is a cheerful and festive time of year, it can often bring employees a lot of stress.
With rising costs and the financial impact of COVID-19 on people’s minds, Christmas is an expensive time of year that could impact employee stress levels.
A recent Citizen’s Advice survey found that more than two-fifths of people are resorting to borrowing money to help cover Christmas this year.
As well as this, the Christmas period is often a very busy time for those tackling things like shopping and visiting family on top of a full-time job.
Why is reducing employee stress important to employers?
Financial stress can have a detrimental impact on employees’ well-being and productivity in the workplace.
Employees may become less engaged when their minds are focused on money, potentially leading to mental health issues, like anxiety or depression.
How can employers help?
We understand that Christmas bonuses and pay rises aren’t something that all employers are in the position to offer – especially after COVID-19.
However, there are some small but mighty ways that employers can make a difference…
Discounts and schemes
Employers can introduce rewards and benefits to help staff with finances, without it becoming too costly.
Consider offering perks that can bring value or a slight bit of extra cash at Christmas. This can be in the form of e-Vouchers and gift cards that employees can use at retailers or hospitality companies.
There are also some cost-saving benefits to consider, such as employee cashback cards or online cashback.
Even though these are small measures, they can help employees save more money during an expensive time of year.
The Christmas period is also an extremely busy time for people. From last-minute Christmas shopping to visiting loved ones, employees may feel overwhelmed with tasks and things to do before the big day.
Therefore, we urge employers to take a flexible approach to work schedules. Whether this is flexibility on an employees’ working hours or gifting their workers with an extra day of annual leave, this will show your employees you are thinking of them at Christmas.
One day extra outside of paid time off or even an early log off time can do the world of good – especially if a lack of free time is stressful for employees.
Something else that employers should consider is their employees’ commute. The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted that workers can save money on commuting costs by working from home.
So, consider offering a hybrid working schedule or work from home opportunities for employees over the Christmas period.
If being in the workplace is necessary, you might want to look at commute related benefits for your workers, such as free staff parking or cycle to work schemes.
A final way to try and support employees who are feeling stressed this Christmas is making the workplace a cheerful and joyous place to be.
Whether it is hosting a Christmas quiz with colleagues, playing Christmas tunes in the office, or organising a Christmas meal as a team, there are plenty of ways for employers to spread some Christmas cheer.
Do you need help looking at your workforce’s needs? We’re here to help.