Holiday Survival Guide For HR

Posted in HR Trends

We’ve officially entered the most wonderful time of the year (cue your favorite holiday tune 🎶)! And while many of us have our sights set on checking off shopping lists, meal prepping, and signing off for some well-deserved PTO, we all know that the holidays present all kinds of interesting challenges for HR.

From navigating burnout and stress to showing employee appreciation and planning inclusive celebrations, you play an important role in making sure it all runs smoothly and your organization can close out the year on a positive note.

This holiday survival guide for HR will walk you through how to navigate those challenges like a pro!

dog with reindeer antlers

The Low-Down on Holiday Stress

Last year the American Psychiatric Association released a survey that showed 31% of adults expected to feel more stressed over the holidays. It’s no surprise when you consider the fact that we’re all balancing extra family commitments and increased spending on top of our day jobs. All that stress is bound to have an impact on employee well-being and productivity. Putting ourselves in employees’ shoes and understanding these stressors is an important part of any corporate holiday survival guide.


Holiday Survival Guide For HR

Manage Time-Off Requests and Coverage

Whether employees are traveling for the holidays or hosting family and friends, everyone is looking to take time off simultaneously. Use the proper communication channels at your disposal (Slack, Teams, email, etc.) to remind employees of the importance of taking time off throughout the year. Make sure time-off policies are clearly documented in your employee handbook and that employees know where to find it.

Focus on Connection

This is the perfect time of year to bring everyone together across the organization. Whether you’re planning a company-wide event or smaller team gatherings, think about how you can use these events to foster more connection and belonging. Perhaps there’s a local charity you can support that aligns with your company values. You can also add a bit of fun and introduce something like Enboarder’s Connection Networking Game to your event or gathering, so employees from various parts of the business can get to know each other better.

Show Appreciation

Even if you don’t have the budget to throw an extravagant holiday party, giving recognition can go a long way in showing employees you value the hard work they put in all year. Some people will appreciate a thoughtful note while others are more comfortable being recognized in a public setting like a company meeting or event. If you need a little inspiration, check out this blog where we give a peek inside Enboarder’s homegrown recognition program.


Offer Mental Health Support

While this time of year is joyous for many, for others it brings up feelings of isolation and loneliness. Remind your employees about any health and well-being resources offered by your company. You can even use Enboarder to nudge managers to check in on their teams and remind them to prioritize time with family and friends during the holiday season. For more ideas on creating a remote well-being program, check out this blog.

Share Traditions

Part of creating an environment where everyone feels valued is about highlighting your team’s unique traditions. Even if your team celebrates the same holidays, it’s unlikely that they all celebrate them in exactly the same way. Ask employees to share photos, recipes, and stories that inspire deeper conversations and connections. You can use a tool like Enboarder to help facilitate this culture sharing with nudges and reminders that build memorable moments.

Mitigate Potential Conflicts

HR doesn’t have to be the fun police, but ahead of any holiday gathering or office party, it’s helpful to remind employees of company policies around respectful behavior and handle any issues that might arise as soon as possible. Yes, we’re all adults, but those gentle reminders can go a long way in making sure everyone is on the same page!

Thriving During the Holidays … and Beyond

Of course, surviving the holidays at work really comes down to effective communication, empathy, and planning. With this recipe for success, we can foster a culture of connection and make sure the business doesn’t lose steam these last few weeks of the year.

Here’s a happy and stress-free holiday season, HR rockstars!

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