As the temperatures drop, thoughts turn to the holidays, and stress levels rise. Studies show that 44% of people report feeling stressed during the holiday season. While some of it is personal stress, such as finances, other stressors include work-related issues such as shortened deadlines and the approaching end of the fiscal year. To help your employees cope with stress this holiday season, consider these tips.

Be Inclusive

There are a number of holidays, both religious and cultural, that make up the holiday season. Some employees may celebrate one or more, while others may celebrate none at all. Be sure your company’s holiday policies and celebrations are inclusive of everybody, and respect the various ways and holidays people may be celebrating this season.

Ask for Opinions

While having a holiday party may be your default way of celebrating, consider that after-work celebrations may be cutting into family obligations and causing more stress. Instead, solicit opinions from your employees to determine how they want to celebrate. Perhaps an office lunch would be more popular, or maybe your employees would rather spend an afternoon volunteering together. A bonus of volunteering is that it actually reduces stress, while giving back to others, making it a perfect way to celebrate the holidays.

Review Workloads

The end of the fiscal year and time off during the holidays can lead to shortened deadlines, increased pressure, and increased stress. Take the time to review everyone’s workloads and rebalance them among team members as necessary to take some of the pressure off. It can also help to bump some deadlines to past the holidays, and allow flexible working hours and work from home, to help combat stress.

Respect Personal Time

The holidays are a time with a lot of personal obligations. Be careful with how you schedule meetings and deadlines to avoid late nights and overtime work this time of year. If possible, be flexible with employees who request time off for travel or family celebrations. The more respectful you are of your employees’ time, the less stressed and more productive they will be.

The holidays should be a joyful time, but for many people it’s filled with stress. By taking a few simple steps, you can reduce your employees’ stress levels this time of year, while boosting their productivity, happiness, and loyalty at the same time.