Creating a safe, healthy, and rewarding Holiday Season for your people has never been as important this year.
Here are a few items for employers, managers, and associates to consider for their organization, team, and their families.
Be safe and secure
While acknowledging the Coronavirus as a factor in developing your plans is important – reach out and discuss your thoughts with key team members to ensure you obtain diverse perspectives. By discussing options with people you trust, you are ‘opening the funnel’ to consider numerous choices before deciding on a course of action. Explore CDC.gov for their latest precautions and recommendations and contact your medical staff or healthcare professional for their opinion.
Many people are feeling overloaded due to work and personal demands. So be honest about what you can do as an organization this Holiday season. Handling childcare, homeschooling, and, for some, caregiving for loved ones is arduous work. Consider having a more flexible work schedule to accommodate family obligations and focus on the “must-do” tasks and goals.
If you are an owner or manager, instead of doing what you think employees would like, consider this: “Yes, the work needs to happen – so tell me your thoughts about a work schedule that would work for both the organization and you – what would that look like”? Asking is important as you and your team are preparing for a very different Holiday season. Have team members brainstorm possibilities that enable the work to get done and be realistic about expectations. Importantly, you may be aware of team members that are having a tough time of it and can develop ideas and suggestions to show them kindness and a caring team spirit in this time of need.
Financial wellness programs
Financial wellness is a crucial task for all of us. Offering your associates resources for budget planning, debt management, and other services can reap dividends for you and your people. EAPs have numerous tools and services available in this area. Encouraging your people to plan soon can save them a lot of wear and tear on their budget, not to mention their emotional well-being for 2021.
Mental health & substance abuse programs
At this extraordinary time, rates of both severe depression and anxiety are heightened. Additionally, the use of alcohol and other mood-altering substances have been increasing dramatically in a number of generational cohorts. Make sure your people are aware of the warning signs of mental stress and strain and the importance of taking action early. Most individuals wait far too long to access assistance – and experience great emotional and familial turmoil in the process. Resources such as an EAP and national hotlines are available 24/7 and access can be accomplished telephonically and/or virtually.
Many people are dealing with depression, isolation, and loneliness by over-drinking and abusing substances to escape. Importantly, if you or a loved one have experienced some problematic drinking and/or use/abuse of legal, OTC, or prescribed medications, seek help now.
A systems affair
Think of the family system as a mobile hanging over a baby’s crib – when any part of it is touched…the entire mobile vibrates. That’s how families function and can experience dysfunction as well. People often forget that the connection to their loved ones means that when you have issues/concerns, these “ripple out” (like a stone tossed into a pool of water) and everyone is affected.
For organizations, there are compelling parallels to how organizational functioning can emulate the family system; suffice to say that when a team member has concerns or issues, co-workers are affected. Our staff members have worked extensively with teams, departments, and the whole of the organization to understand the situation, make recommendations for re-engagement, and work together to achieve stated goals.
From all of us, we wish you and yours the safest, healthiest, and joyous Holiday Season!
Joe Lemmon, Ph.D., Principal