Silly Season Sanity...
Posted 3:00pm, 29 Nov 2019
With looming deadlines, temp staff, family stress, financial stress, travel and christmas parties..
Things can feel hectic and overwhelming, taking a toll on mental, physical and emotional well-being.
What can team leaders in the workplace do?
Strongly encourage team members to use their break time.
Take some fresh air, don’t eat lunch over a keyboard!
Avoid designating repetitive tasks for long periods at a time.
Keep workloads and deadlines fair and realistic: factor in extra time, additional staff or resources if need be to ensure work is completed safely.
If it seems like deadlines are not going to me met, implement an appropriate management plan that does not increase workload or stress levels.
Ensure that policies around alcohol, bullying and harassment are clear to all staff - and still apply during functions. Ensure that reporting processes are safe, confidential and appropriate.
Avoid extended hours where possible.
Consider partnering with practitioners of yoga, massage, meditation or other forms of movement or stress reduction.
Remind directors, managers and workers of their various legal responsibilities around ensuring physical and emotional safety.
Avoid quick, lax onboarding of Christmas casuals.
Propper induction, training and support is always a priority - even when things are busy for managers.
The Christmas season coincides with some weather extremes on both sides of the globe.
For any industry or workplace involving physical labour, travel or “offsite” work - having safety policies in place is vitally important.
In hotter than usual climates there is an increased susceptibility to either heat stress or heat exhaustion which, in some cases, can lead to heat stroke.
There can be increased risks of events like bush fires too.
Warmer conditions can lead employees to experience (among other things):
tiredness and weakness; confusion; disorientation; or inability to concentrate.
In some circumstances even one moment’s lapse in concentration can result in a workplace accident or injury.
By managing risks and adhering to duty of care, employers should take all reasonable steps to proactively plan for ‘worse case situations’ and deal with these as they arise.
Some tips include:
Regulating exposure and reducing time working in hotter environments including outdoor provision of sunscreen and water;
Reminding workers to stay hydrated and encouraging workers to communicate with supervisors if they are not coping; and
Training workers on the impact of heat and the associated symptoms, to assist them with recognising if weather conditions are negatively affecting workers or their co-workers.
How to make them better for everyone?
Uninvited and unwelcome guests could easily enter the venue if it’s a function room of a public bar.
This might get awkward..
So, getting security at the door can prevent this from happening.
If your christmas event is being held outside (or somewhere outside of your workplace), think about how any possible first aid incidents can be managed. Don’t limit yourself to injuries, could there be allergies? Consider taking a first aid kit with you.
Let your people know what behaviour you expect. Formalise it. Send out an email, or bring it up in the next staff meeting.
Talk about the consequences that will take place if behaviour doesn’t align with expectations. Harassment and bullying seem to ramp up with added alcohol and this is NOT an excuse for harmful actions.
Clearly set out start and finish times for the event and ensure that these are stated on the invitation.
Ensure that your people can get safely to and from the venue. In some areas, workers compensation obligations extend to the journey to and from work – in this case, ‘work’ is the company-endorsed event.
Possibly consider limiting the amount of drinks, or the “strength” of drinks that are available. Always have non-alcoholic alternatives available. This could even be fun! Like offering a refreshing ‘company-branded’ mocktail part-way through the event. Plus these days, more and more people are choosing to go booze free.
A meal or finger food can slow down alcohol consumption, so ensure you have enough food. Nobody enjoys an event when the food runs out early either. Guests ordering UberEats… is not the best look.
FAMILY STRESS (AGHHHHHHH)
Remember, Christmas is another day.
We often create the drama and stress by putting pressure on ourselves to 'get things DONE before Christmas'.
We put pressure on oursleves and our families to 'get new things and give new things'.
We put pressure on ourselves to create the BEST meal of the year.
We need to start asking WHY..
To take the pressure off this Christmas consider some alternatives to protect your sanity and also 'do good'.
Here are some ideas..
Have a deal with your family members that you will only give homemade *plastic free* gifts or experiences - it's a fun challange and it is good for the planet.
For example; Upcycle something, sew something, bake something, print a calander with your own photographs, take your loved ones on a camping trip, a movie night or a nature walk, make your own createive Chrismas board game.
Host a Chrismas meal where everyone contributes a dish (everyone in the family AND/OR every guest from your community).
It can be a great opportunity to sit together and plan a fun menu, the kids can practice cooking their faviourite dish, some plates can also be made the day before to reduce Christmas day pressure.
Seasonal eating and having more plants on the table can reduce Christmas costs, you don't NEED to cook a whole pig or a Turkey. (In fact the planet will thank you if you don't).
Break traditions and make Christmas time your own. If thinking about the day brings you feelings of stress and anxiety, something needs to change.
It's up to you.
Christmas can be brought back to it's essance.
LOVE, FAMILY & GIVING PRESENCE not PRESENTS.