Ten ways to support employee mental health during the holidays

Effective tips for HR and benefits leaders on how to promote good mental health at work during the holidays and year-round.

The holiday season is a stressful time for many, including your workforce. Busy travel schedules, concerns over budgets, and tight deadlines mean added anxiety and potentially some sleepless nights. As benefits leaders, this time of year is crucial in making sure your teams feel supported, so here are a few effective ways to help employees ease tension and stress in the coming weeks.

  1. Foster open communication — Encourage open conversations about mental health. Create a safe and stigma-free environment where employees feel comfortable discussing their challenges. Consider hosting workshops or webinars on mental health awareness, providing resources, and reinforcing the message that seeking help is a sign of strength.
  1. Allow for flexible work — The holiday season can be overwhelming with personal commitments. Offering flexible work arrangements, such as adjusted hours or remote work options, can help employees manage their time and reduce stress. Acknowledge that personal well-being is a priority and that flexibility can contribute to a healthier work-life balance.
  1. Encourage time away — Encourage employees to take the time off they need. Create a supportive policy that allows employees to recharge without guilt and come back to work with renewed energy to combat holiday burnout. This can be particularly beneficial for those struggling with anxiety or depression and can help promote better mental health overall.
  1. Promote stress reduction — Organize stress-reducing activities within the workplace. Consider offering yoga sessions, mindfulness workshops, or other wellness programs. Providing outlets for relaxation and self-care can help alleviate the symptoms of anxiety and depression and improve overall well-being.
  1. Set realistic expectations — Be mindful of the workload during the holiday season. Avoid piling on additional stress by setting realistic expectations and deadlines. Encourage open communication if employees are feeling overwhelmed, and work collaboratively to find solutions that promote a healthier work environment.
  1. Promote a positive and inclusive workplace — Promote a positive and inclusive workplace culture throughout the holiday season. Celebrate diversity and recognize that different cultures have varied ways of observing holidays. Ensure that everyone feels included and respected, minimizing feelings of isolation that can contribute to mental health challenges.
  1. Seek and be open to feedback — Regularly seek feedback from employees about the support initiatives in place. Use this feedback to adapt and improve your mental health initiatives continually. An evolving and responsive approach will ensure that your efforts align with the ever-changing needs of your workforce.
  1. Recognition and appreciation — Regularly recognize and appreciate employees for their efforts and achievements, fostering a positive and supportive work environment. A little recognition can go a long way in terms of morale boosting, increasing employee motivation, and improving team dynamics.
  1. Offer training for managers — Managers play a crucial role in creating a supportive work environment. Equip them with the skills to recognize signs of mental health struggles, have compassionate conversations, and direct employees to available resources. 
  2. Provide effective resources —  Employees benefit most from a comprehensive offering that meets the full spectrum of their mental health needs and preferences. Big Health delivers just that with the combined power of evidence-based digital programs for insomnia, anxiety, and adolescent depression, and rapid access to virtual care services from licensed providers.

Prioritizing employee mental health during the holidays is a long-term investment that can pay off in increased productivity, morale, and retention. Employers can create a positive work environment that benefits everyone year-round by fostering a supportive and empathetic workplace and offering effective mental health services. The holiday season is a time for gratitude and compassion — extending these virtues to your employees can make a lasting impact on their well-being.

Contact us today to learn how Big Health can deliver a comprehensive mental health solution for your organization.


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