employee health holidays

Support your workforce this festive season

The festive season can be an enjoyable and busy period for some or a stressful and overwhelming time for others. Supporting employee wellbeing, mental health and morale is so important over the holiday season. As the year comes to an end, emotions, deadlines and commitments increase over December and January.

Employee health: not simply the absence of illness

Employee health encompasses several factors. Health reflects three key pillars – physical health, emotional health and mental health. All these factors play a large roll in our ability to understand, process and interact with information and people in times of duress.

Is this time of year really that wonderful?

Although the number of festive gatherings and parties increase, the amount of financial and social pressure has shown to negatively affect a large proportion of our working population. 38 per cent of people say their stress increases during the holidays, with only 8 per cent of people say they feel happier over the festive season (Greenburg, 2006). Employees are often struggling with reduced deadlines, meeting expectations for the end of the fiscal year, and managing stressed-out customers, which are just a few of the motivations for their increased anxiety. The resulting costs for employers can be quite significant.

Stress can have long term implications on employee health impacting engagement, motivation and commitment. For your business, this can translate to increased absenteeism, reduced productivity, higher incidents and injury rates, workplace conflict, higher staff turnover and negative outcomes on your bottom line.

Support your staff this festive season
  1. Provide support tools and opportunities

The festive season can present challenges around finances, family problems, loneliness, health concerns and increased stress.

Providing your employees with accessible support services will help keep them focus and engaged whilst at work. Go beyond the ‘open door’ policy and educate your staff on where to go for their health needs. It is also essential to train your managers on the signs of stress and how to identify red flags before they escalate.

  1. Show appreciation

Appreciation is fabulous for improving motivation and wellbeing during difficult periods as well as improving employee engagement within your business.

Appreciation can take many forms like, financial or verbal. If budget cannot allow a small bonus, a cost-effective approach would be to demonstrate your appreciation by taking some time to say thank you to your employees and let them know their work is important to you.

  1. Introduce New Year initiatives early

Have a few things in your pipeline for 2020? Get on the front foot with your team and communicate your initiatives, phasing the changes in ahead of the New Year. This avoids the lack of interest from the post-holiday slump.

Looking for some inspiration on what to do next? Book a SiSU Health Station to help keep your team accountable this festive season. Book now.

  1. Promote productivity and time management

It is common to see a slump in employee productivity in the lead up to the festive season. With our minds slipping towards Christmas shopping and upcoming events, it usually shows a productivity lull two weeks before the festive holiday.

Improve productivity and engagement by offering flexible working hours. Ensuring your managers are supporting your employees in planning their workloads and identify what must be done or can be pushed back before the festive break.

  1. Define holiday working policies

Remove the interdepartmental frustrations and clearly outline the boundaries of working practices, communicating these internally. Ensure staff who work remotely have all the tools and material required before approving the change of conditions. Also, ensure a hierarchy of who is available to contact should someone need help over the holiday period.

  1. Promote healthy choices

This time of year is commonly known for overindulgence. Speak out on the importance of balance, by providing health education around healthy, sustainable lifestyle choices.

Looking to provide your employees with the right tools to measure their health? Look at booking a SiSU Health Station for your employee’s return to the office. Give them access to essential key measures on their health in just 4 minutes through the SiSU Health Station, self-serve kiosk. For more information, speak to us today.



Greenberg, 2006, ‘Holiday Stress’, Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research, page 3, available from: https://www.apa.org/news/press/releases/2006/12/holiday-stress.pdf