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Keep Employees Engaged and Healthy Through the Holidays

employees engaged; keep employees engaged; employee engagement; holiday stress; stress managementAre your employees engaged through the holiday season?

As an employer, your focus this time of year may be to finish the year strong. Your employees, however, probably have many other things on their mind other than productivity at work. In the U.S., keeping employees engaged can be especially challenging in the weeks from Thanksgiving to New Year’s Day. There are a plenitude of outside distractions that can interfere with their work as well as their health. This already stressful season can entail various worries for your employees like working when kids are out of school, end-of-year deadlines and projects, tough weather, flu season, financial worries and more.  Let’s not forget, we still have so many families struggling to cope with the recent flooding in Louisiana and many are still not back in their homes.With all of these challenges, it’s not surprising maintaining engagement and and a focus on well-being will obviously be tough.

So what can companies do to maintain engagement and keep employees healthy during a time that’s full of so many distractions?

Your employees may need a little more push to stay on track, but you must strike a balance that will make them feel supported rather than pressured. How do you promote productivity and employee engagement without looking like a scrooge? Good communication and planning are key. It’s important to be somewhat flexible this time of year, but giving clear guidelines and goals to your staff ahead of time will simplify things for everyone involved. Your company must really make teamwork a priority and encourage each employee to be a supportive team player.

Also be sure to promote stress management and well-being this time of year in simple ways. Consider bringing a massage therapist in for short chair massages. Incorporate a Healthy Holiday Challenge, Holiday Luncheon Seminar or Stress Breaks. It will remind your employees to take care of themselves as well as keep them reminded of your goals to be a healthier company. If employees continue to feel connected to the overall goals and values of the company they are more likely to go the extra mile at work.

Here are some things to keep in mind to help employees stay engaged during the holidays:

  • Don’t wait until the New Year, set new goals now. Setting new goals can help employees stay focused and motivated. However, large demands or lofty expectations may cause push-back. Setting a long-term goal is fine, as long as you help employees set small realistic goals. Looking forward to the future will rejuvenate your employees’ passions and reignite their motivation during the holidays.
  • Suggest A new employee benefit. Unexpected absenteeism and tardiness happens more frequently during the holiday season. Find a way to work around this by offering a new employee benefit. For example, offer all employees one two-hour lunch break during the holiday season or flexible time off. A holiday bonus or recognition luncheon are also good ways to ignite engagement.
  • Show appreciation towards your employees. During this time of year, it’s easy to resent the work you have to do when there are seemingly more pressing things at home. Stop and take a moment to remind your employees why their function at your organization is important, and how they make a difference within the company. Don’t forget to pause and say “thank you” for your employee’s hard work. They may need a bit of encouragement at work to offset the stress that this season brings.
  • The holidays are a good time to also reinforce your company’s values and vision. This can be a perfect time to bring extra energy and excitement to the workplace each day. Don’t forget that healthy employees are typically more productive and better at managing stress. Although it may be tempting to hold off on employee wellness programming until the New Year, know that your workforce may need it more now than ever. Keep it simple and fun. Ask us how we have made workplace wellness successful during the holidays for many of our other clients.

The team of SB Wellness Group wish you and your employees a happy and healthy holiday season!

Katie Uworksite wellness, corporate wellness specialists, wellness consultant, workplace ergonomics, employee safetyter Normand is Vice President of SB Wellness Group. SB Wellness has been helping businesses develop customized solutions  for wellness programs with proven success for more than 20 years. From planning and implementation to screening and data collection, we orchestrate each stage of the wellness development process from start to finish. Find out more at www.sbwellness.com.

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