December is a contrasting month: for many it means a time of rest, while for others actually means more work. The following are a set of useful considerations to adequately managing the stress of those who work and those who get to rest in the holidays:
1. Plan ahead
Employee vacations can increase the level stress in an organization, especially when proper planning is overlooked. November is ideal to know in advance which employees will work and which will get to rests in December, and to start delegating tasks.
2. Reevaluation of workflows
HR must start by establishing action protocols for the key positions and functions: knowing which employees have the talent and skills needed to carry out the tasks of those who are absent from work and verifying that team leaders know what to do in case of a ‘crisis’ are good strategies.
3. Plan ahead integration and training activities for those who stay working
In many organizations the workflow is reduced during the holidays, thus HR can schedule different activities aimed at promoting personal integration and at further training and developing employees’ skills.
4. Make an effort to disconnect
Most employees try to disconnect completely from work when on vacation, however, it is a known fact that more than 50% of them can’t fully detach themselves from work during holidays.
5. Organize the return to work after the break
Before actually returning from holidays some employees can easily feel overwhelmed due the amount of work that has accumulated: HR should focus on priorities by setting realistic times for each task, and avoiding unnecessary meetings when employees return from vacation.