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Though a joyous time for some, the winter holiday season can be a source of workplace stress for others. In fact, a recent survey reported that two-thirds of full-time workers experience workplace stress during the holidays. This stress can be derived from intrusive décor, gift exchanges, seasonal financial hardships and/or inflexible work hours during the busiest time of the year. However, there are steps you, as a business owner or manager, can take to alleviate some of this seasonal stress.

·         If a gift exchange, such as Secret Santa, is planned, set some guidelines to make it easier on your employees. Set a reasonable maximum budget, such as $15 for a single gift or $25 for a week of daily gifts.

·         As a boss, you may want to treat your team to tokens of appreciation, such as $10 gift cards or artisan candies. This is a great way to boost morale, but be sure to acknowledge that you don’t expect anything in return. The obligation of buying a return gift can be stressful for some.

·         To eliminate the obligation of gift giving, you may instead choose to bake cookies, or otherwise use your talents, to express appreciation to your team.

·         Gifts that are meant to relieve stress, such as soothing lotions and aromatherapy products, can help employees feel more at ease.

·         If your business is planning a holiday party, consider ways to reduce the burden placed on employees. For example, consider casual dress or book a venue with free parking to eliminate extra costs associated with shopping and attending the party.

·         Schedule holiday parties or events during work hours (setting aside an hour or two shouldn’t interrupt business much) so your employees are not required to dip into their free time in order to participate.

·         Consider holding an employee recognition event in January to give your workers the opportunity to enjoy the event during a time that is not as busy as December.

·          Be sensitive to employees who may be stretched a bit thin both on money and time. Ensure backup for any employees taking time off to prevent them from returning to a backlog of work. You may also choose to offer flexible work hours, floating holidays or the chance to telecommute during the holidays.

Showing your appreciation to employees is a great way to boost morale and office productivity. Call Tabitha E. Walker Insurance Agency at (540) 657-5633 for more information on Fredericksburg business insurance.
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