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Conquering the Biggest HR Holiday Challenges

Though we usually associate the holidays – starting with Halloween at the end of October and running through New Year’s Day – with fun events and time spent with loved ones, this time of year can pose some serious challenges. It’s often stressful for workers to manage so many personal obligations, especially during a time when many businesses must be working harder than ever. How can companies help their teams to cope with common holiday-related challenges? Read on.

Productivity Lapses
The holiday season is full of distractions and time off requests, and these can impact productivity in the office. To keep employee productivity high, consider offering some flex scheduling options during the holidays. That can give employees a chance to take care of personal tasks during the week in exchange for working alternate hours or telecommuting.

Workplace Resentment
Employers may find themselves juggling more time off requests than they can grant. Make sure the system used is fair. For example, first-come-first-serve is probably a better approach than using a seniority system. The latter might give the same people priority preference year after year. Consider alternating holidays too, e.g., they can take time off at Thanksgiving but not at Christmas, or vice versa.

Stress and Overwhelm
The Society for Human Resource Management recommends that employers consider setting up special concierge services for your employees. This means hiring services that will take care of minor employee tasks and chores, e.g. handling dry cleaning, quick trips to the store, etc. This can be a great way for employers to show appreciation for workers while helping them to de-stress.

Absenteeism
Employees missing work unexpectedly outside of workplace guidelines can become a pressing problem during the holidays. Thankfully, employers have a bevy of strategies for preventing and responding to absenteeism. For example, flex scheduling can help with absenteeism too.

Workplace Illness
Winter is flu season. With so many people huddling indoors to avoid the cold outside, infectious ailments like the flu and the common cold can spread easily. Make sure your workers weather flu season wisely to keep them healthy all season long.

Depression
The holiday blues are a real phenomenon. From the rise of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) to financial distress during a particularly expensive time of the year, employees may struggle with mental health issues. Employee assistance programs that include counseling services can be very helpful, but simply being attentive to employees can help as well. If any employees seem to be struggling under the weight of this holiday season stress, reach out to them.

CoAdvantage, one of the nation’s largest Professional Employer Organizations (PEOs), helps small to mid-sized companies with HR administration, benefits, payroll, and compliance. To learn more about our ability to create a strategic HR function in your business that drives business growth potential, contact us today.

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