Employee burnout is a common occurrence at various times throughout the year, but it is especially strong during the holidays. The additional expectations of the holidays blur the lines between work and personal lives, and your employees feel the pinch. Employee burnout affects workplace in so many ways:
- Unexplained work absences
- Chronically late for work
- Decrease in productivity and quality of work
- Lack of enthusiasm
- Feelings of Alienation
- Less socialization among co-workers
Why do the holidays cause so much stress and burnout? It all comes down to work-life balance.
When Work/Life Balance Gets Out of Whack
Employee stress ramps up during the holidays – in fact, up to 70% of employees report feeling more stressed during this period than any other. The reasons for this are numerous, and often largely out of your control.
Employee burnout often takes employers by surprise because they typically only see their staff during working hours. It’s the life outside of the office that often contributes to the stress employees feel during the holidays. Factors that affect employee stress levels include:
- Family obligations
- Personal relationships
- Financial worries
- High expectations
- Increased social activities
With the expanded focus on celebrations and shopping, holiday stress can drag even the most well-adjusted individual down. Life inside the office often becomes an additional source of stress, as well, particularly when the workload increases ahead of year-end deadlines.
Easing Employee Burnout
The holidays come around at the same time every year, and you can prepare to combat the stress they can cause. Every little bit you can do to ease the pressure on your staff will help your business and reap rewards in the long term. Here are a few ways you can combat employee burnout during the holidays:
Looking at the calendar and preparing for upcoming events will help ease some of the pressure on your staff. If you have end-of-year deadlines, planning out the work ahead of time will reduce the stress that comes with getting it done at the last moment.
Your employees will likely have holiday obligations outside of work that can’t wait. Allowing individuals to leave early for school programs or take a longer lunch break to finish shopping can go a long way toward boosting productivity.
Encourage time off
In some businesses, vacation time is a “use it or lose it” proposition. Still, studies show that only 23% of employees take all their vacation time, forfeiting up to half of their paid time off each year. If you have employees who don’t take all their vacation days, encourage them to use this benefit during the holidays. (This is where planning ahead works in your favor.)
Set a relaxed and festive atmosphere
There are many ways to subtly celebrate the holidays in an office setting. Relaxing the dress code, encouraging in-office events, and decorating for the season can all contribute to a festive atmosphere.
Many times, employees flounder during the holidays because they don’t have clear goals during this time. Once again, planning ahead allows you to determine what work needs to be finished before the year’s end. Help your employees to focus on those goals and not think too far into the next year.
When an employee meets a deadline, acknowledge their efforts. If something noteworthy happens in their personal life, celebrate it. Even small successes feel larger during the holidays.
Keep lines of communication open
It’s easy to get absorbed in goals and details as you’re wrapping up another year. However, don’t let this focus keep you from communicating with your employees. Keep them abreast of company happenings and invite them to share their thoughts with you, as well.
The year-end bonus is a traditional part of company culture, but it’s not the only way to reward employees for their efforts. While employees certainly won’t argue with receiving a bonus, they will also appreciate non-monetary rewards that acknowledge their contributions. These rewards don’t have to be extravagant, but they do need to be sincere in their intent.
Rewards in the Workplace
The question of how to reward employees consistently and fairly can be answered with Workplace Rewards. As a digital rewards platform, Workplace Rewards allows companies to easily acknowledge and award employees for their efforts. This positive recognition can help boost employee engagement at all levels and can combat the symptoms of burnout during the holidays and beyond. From employees at entry level all the way to management, Workplace Rewards is easy to use and can help increase productivity.
Fight back against employee burnout and disengagement with Workplace Rewards! Contact us today!