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Don't Let The Holidays Stress Out Your Team

Organization & Teams

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December 16, 2019

May 19, 2020

The most wonderful time of the year? Not for everybody. End-of-the-year deadlines combined with holiday obligations can put a lot of pressure on your team. Here’s how to keep everyone happy.

Although December should be all about celebration, we all know how much pressure the holiday season puts on us in our personal lives as well as the work place. Year-end reports, financial statements, and setting new professional goals for the upcoming year don’t go well with Christmas dinners and buying presents. 

No wonder that several researches show that December is the most stressful month for many employees, reducing their productivity. 

Thankfully, as a CEO there are ways to keep the spirits high. 

Hey, there’s always next year

If you notice that December is getting the best of your employees, try to talk with them individually and have a look at their workload. Most probably some projects can easily be picked up next year. Rebalancing projects among your team members may also do the trick. 

Sometimes simply listening to your employees and acknowledging that they’re on a lot of pressure will in fact already reduce some of that pressure. As the Harvard Business Review puts it: “most holiday stressors are self-imposed and preventable”. Check in with your employees. Show them you care. 

Be flexible 

Once you’ve made a clear overview of what needs to be done and what can wait until next year, cut your employees some slack if time allows it. 

Give your team members the afternoon off for them to do grocery shopping or maybe even to contemplate on the year to come – whatever they need. It will be much appreciated. Let them work from home if that means they can open the door for important deliveries. It’s small gestures like these that can make all the difference in the world. 

Show your gratitude 

Since December is the time of year to look back, it’s the perfect moment to show your employees how valuable they are to your company. Instead of only giving them a bottle of wine, why not add a personal, handwritten note? If you’re giving a speech, try to not make that speech about you – a common pitfall among CEOs – but about your employees. 


Also, be mindful about the fact that office Christmas parties, as much fun as they can be, can put extra pressure on your employees. Be sure not to make your office holiday gathering another thing on everyone’s to-do list. Let it be a genuine moment for everyone to come together and reflect on the year past and the year to come.


More end-of-the-year inspiration?

How to Nail That End-of-the-year speech

So, You Misbehaved at Your Office Holiday Party: What To Do Next?

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