As we speed our way through the final month of 2022, we’d like to encourage everyone to take a moment to stop and consider the people around us. In workplaces, it seems we are all busy as the stress of getting things done ‘before Christmas’ becomes all too real. We’re trying to fit in Christmas parties and secret Santa celebrations with our teams and balancing this against the increased need to be with visiting families or finding time to buy Christmas presents for the kids.

In the real world, we can’t always reduce the pressure and as employers we can’t solve the Christmas-shopping-for-kids dilemma; but we encourage you to look for other ways to take care of your people during the silly season.  A few ideas to get you started:

  • If work is hectic and your people are needing to put in the hard yards, look for ways that you can lighten their load elsewhere.  One particularly busy year, we set up a tab at a local deli that made delicious, ready-to-heat meals and told our team that they could all use the tab once a week.  We couldn’t reduce the amount of work that needed to be done but we could give them a night off cooking and washing up. Our team loved this, their families loved it, and we were supporting another local business – it had a huge impact all round.
  • Let your team share in the wins if they can get through all the work early.  If you know the list of jobs/projects that need to be done by Christmas, lay them out to the team, make sure they are clear on the standard that is expected, and then let them know that if they are all done early, the holidays can start early, or perhaps you can go and do a team activity on the last afternoon.  We have seen this work amazingly so many times – people can step up a gear when there is a light at the end of the tunnel.  This doesn’t mean that they are otherwise slow or lazy, and you can’t ask them to keep that pace all the time – instead, you are encouraging that final push over the finish line after a long and hard marathon through the year.
  • Help people to remain healthy – the festive season is a time of indulgence for many.  Having healthy, nutritious options available at work can help keep the balance – fruit boxes, juice bars, healthy lunch options – can all make a difference.
  • Try doing something proactive to break the cycle if you see things spiralling. If you notice your team working hard to try to get things done and see people getting frayed around the edges, look for a circuit breaker – it might be a casual BBQ, or perhaps little thank-you notes, or maybe even a small care package. Something that says, ‘I see you and the effort you are putting in – and I appreciate it’.

And of course, there is also the Christmas party.  These events are often looked forward to and then talked about for months afterwards.  You want to make sure they are talked about for all the right reasons!  So here are a few pointers on making sure your Christmas party goes well:

  • The Respect@WorkBill has made it more important than ever to ensure that your team know their responsibilities and obligations for treating others with respect. There is now a positive obligation on employers to take proactive steps that mitigate the risk of sexual discrimination and harassment. Having your policies up to date and delivering refresher training before social events is a no-brainer.
  • Make sure you have a decent selection of non-alcoholic options available.  Water, coke and lemonade really doesn’t cut it anymore now that we have so much variety, and many more healthy options than just sugar and caffeine-filled cans.
  • Think about the logistics – be clear on the start and finish time of the event; provide transport if needed.

For most of us, this is the season of family, friends and fun.  And in the workplace, we can all do our part to make sure that this is exactly what happens.

If you notice anything in your workplace that you would like assistance in handling, please contact our team of experts.


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