Keeping "Cheer" in the Workplace

 In Employee Relationships, Work Environment

Submitted by Mark Hallman – Written by Kathie Must

The approaching holiday season can be pleasant and joyful – but it can also be a source of extreme stress and anxiety. Issues such as debt, loss, family relations and balancing work and home life often manifest themselves at festive times. Personal stress often spills over and has a major workplace impact.  As a business leader or co-worker, how do you manage holiday cheer in the workplace?

Acknowledge the added stresses that everyone faces.

Encourage good self-care. Be sensitive to personal situations. Encourage employees to seek support from family and friends or seek professional help if needed. If you have an Employee Assistance Program, use it. Or, call us at Mosaic if you need advice.

The one thing we ALL have in common is that we have a holiday.

With increasing diversity in workplaces, employees celebrate a wide range of special days. However we choose to celebrate the season, the holiday gives each of us an opportunity to spend time with family, neighbours and community.  “Wishing  you a happy holiday” is something we can all share.

Celebrate the friendships and support in the workplace.

This year may not be the year for the major office party with many organizations scaling back. A meaningful celebration does not need to be elaborate. What really matters is the chance to convey good wishes and to come together as a workplace team.

For many organizations, particularly those in the retail and hospitality sectors, it’s the busiest and most demanding time of year! With the deadline to buy gifts plus all the personal stresses of the season, customers can get more aggressive and take that stress out on staff. Here are additional tips to get through the holiday marathon:

Encourage extra attention on good self-care.

Being well-rested strengthens the resilience to deal with any difficult situation and is the best way to beat stress.  Be comfortable – comfortable shoes and clothing — stay hydrated and eat healthy.

Maintain break schedules during the rush.

Just ten minutes away from the bustle of the customer can revive and replenish energy.  And, plan a party to celebrate after the hectic period is over. The anticipation can be almost as pleasant as the event itself.

Remember to take a deep breath when faced with a difficult customer.

Don’t take it personally — it’s not about you. Pull out your “difficult person” kitbag — remain calm and relaxed, don’t argue or become defensive, show respect and empathy for the problem, listen carefully, acknowledge feelings, and focus on finding a solution. Language such as “I understand why you are so frustrated… I will find out….here’s what we can do… the best option is….” works to diffuse anger. But, to be able to do this, we need to first take care of ourselves!

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