Today begins the six and one-half weeks of The Holidays. The weeks in which holidays, days off, celebrations, travels, family pressures, kids-out-of-school, and extended family time mount in what for some is manageable and happy, what for others is a stressful nightmare not indicative of the hopeful seasons we are celebrating. Whether happy or stressful, the holidays create distractions that can undermine productivity at work.
Workplace productivity and accomplishments remain important every week of a year. Yes, even during the holidays, workplaces need productivity. Slowed decision making, unavailable decision makers, and projects bogged down by people on vacation can negatively affect teamwork and team accomplishments. Holiday party interruptions during the workday and/or after work can also cut into productivity.
Those of you managing others, please pay extra attention to each employee to identify whether they are experiencing extra stress or manageable activity loads. When you notice people struggling – now and throughout the year – explore with your human resources team what assistance is available for you to gently offer. People in stress prefer kind support rather than directives. Pleas proceed with care.
Those of you experiencing stress, remember your employee assistance programs – the first time I utilized one was one early December when I needed help figuring out how to navigate negative extended family interactions. It did help me! No one knows when you pursue this option. It might very well provide a helpful tip (or three) that makes these holidays more manageable than ever.
In whatever ways you choose to celebrate, consider the impact on others. Is the celebration building esprit de corps that helps team accomplishment throughout the year? Is the celebration harming relationships and accomplishments? You know the answers. You’ve likely seen both results play out over your years of working.
Here’s a version of the popular saying that appears on magnets, pillows, and wall signs: Keep calm and Enjoy the holidays!