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Managing holiday stress: How to support workforce well-being and alleviate seasonal stressors

Access five tactics employers can use for managing holiday stress and supporting workers struggling with seasonal stressors.

 Min Read 

The struggle of managing holiday stress 

The holidays can be a time to connect with our families, friends, and coworkers in celebration. While it can be a cherished time to look forward to and be with loved ones, it can also be emotionally taxing. The stress of keeping track of plans, the social pressure, and the financial burden of buying gifts or hosting gatherings, not to mention the time commitment just to prepare, can all impact people’s emotional and physical well-being.

According to the American Psychiatric Association, holiday stressors show that:

  • 46% of adults are worried about affording gifts
  • 43% of adults are concerned about COVID
  • 40% of healthcare workers and 37% of the admin/office/manager workforce are anxious about long hours. 

The list goes on with younger adults stressed over social dynamics and family pressures, and older adults nervous about eating and drinking too much. It’s important for HR leaders to take note of factors that can cause stress and anxiety–which can damage workforce well-being in and outside of the workplace, performance, and productivity. In response, companies can then design programs that support employees' overall well-being and help people having a hard time managing holiday stress. 

A Lifestyle Spending Account (LSA) program can be a great tool to show support and help those in need of managing holiday stress. This blog provides recommendations for LSAs that address some of the pains to support your workforce and help them enjoy the holidays. 

5 types of LSAs for managing holiday stress

LSAs can be customized and are flexible in nature. That said, when creating an LSA program employers can hand-select elements to support workforce well-being. Recognizing how personal one’s needs are, a holistic approach to well-being can be essential to help curb some of the stress of the season so your workers can focus on enjoying it. Given the flexibility of an LSA, you can pick one, two, or all the options noted here and more!

1. Mental health

The 2022 State of Well-being found 88% of respondents note that mental health is the top priority with anxiety a close second at 77%. Given the stats, proper self-care is necessary to maintain a positive perspective and avoid a breaking point for those experiencing holiday stress. 

Mental health support can mean many things to many people–from gym memberships to burn off stress or remote therapy apps to talk over frustrations, even massage services just to decompress. Given the personalized nature, consider categories that are flexible to help your team work through stress. Giving employees the tools and dedicated focus on mental health gives employees a useful framework of resilience that they can carry through the holidays and beyond.

2. Family and relationship

The aforementioned well-being report also notes that 59% find it difficult to balance work and personal life. Employers can provide employees with the support that is especially needed during the holiday period and year-round. Like mental health programs, families and relationships come in all shapes and sizes. Programs that encompass caregiving services for working parents, pet care for fur babies, and even eldercare can make a huge impact. For those wanting to add to their family, adoption assistance can be game-changing. 

3. Health and medical 

Even before COVID, winter months tend to bring on seasonal illnesses from the flu to colds. Consider offering support for moments when you or your loved ones aren’t feeling 100%. Many Forma customers have opted to offer programs anchored in physical health. Whether covering the cost of home diagnostics for COVID testing, blood pressure kits, or even band-aids, this type of program can go a long way in helping workers and the people they love feel good.

4. Rewards & Recognition

Another callout from the State of Well-Being notes that 34% are experiencing financial stress. While a gift card may seem like a nice token of appreciation, nearly half of gift cards and vouchers go unspent, with the average American possessing $175 in unused credit ($61 more than last year) per a survey published on Creditcards.com. 

Instead, consider a Rewards & Recognition LSA to thank and show employees they’re valued. With Forma, employees can choose from three convenient ways to spend funds: through the Forma Store, Forma Card, and reimbursement claims. Having three options can be beneficial for employees, as each accommodates personal preferences for how people like to spend extra funds.

5. Charitable giving

Another way to ease financial pressures is to suggest a charitable giving program. Giving selflessly is a quintessential part of the holiday spirit, and there is no shortage of charities and nonprofit organizations to make worthy recipients. The satisfaction of supporting a good cause doesn’t need to be reserved for those with an excess of time or disposable income. 

A charitable giving LSA is a great way to empower workers to make a meaningful impact toward causes that reflect their values and priorities. For example, Allbirds offers the Giving Bird account, which allows full-time employees $500 and part-time employees $250 to direct toward any nonprofit of their choice. 

Whichever option you select to support employees through the holiday season, ensure you communicate with them around this time. Gathering feedback proactively on the performance of your program will enhance its effectiveness over time. 

Get help with managing holiday stress

Help your workforce have happy holidays and support them year-round. Whether in need of helping your workforce navigate mental health stress, financial pressures, or the struggles of work-life balance, Forma offers a wide variety of LSAs. With Forma flexibility comes first. From yoga classes to financial planning apps or even nutrition planning services, the options are endless.

Contact Forma to book a consultation with a Forma expert to get started building your custom program.

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