December – which marks the start of the festive season – has been described as the most stressful month of 2022 by half of Brits.
According to survey data from people analytics company, Visier, more than a third (36%) of Brits feel more stressed about the festive season this year when compared to last year, citing the cost of living crisis (79%), being able to afford Christmas presents (55%) and fear of new year redundancies (18%) as key reasons why.
But it’s not just the impact of the current economic climate on Christmas shopping that’s got Brits feeling increasingly overwhelmed by the festive season this year.
The online survey of 2,006 full time employees who work at organisations employing more than 250 people in the UK, reveals that more than two thirds (67%) of employees currently feel burnt out. Plus, a further 57% admit to feeling more burnt out than they did at this point last year.
Employees are suffering from ‘Festive Fatigue’ and the data points to a worrying trend. More than a third (36%) of Brits still have more than 10 days of annual leave allowance left to use before the end of the year, further signaling a clear cause of exhaustion and burnout.
Ian McVey, EMEA MD at Visier says: “Stress is a major issue at work, and the repercussions can be huge for business performance. December should be a time of celebration, a time to unwind, spend time with the family, and celebrate the successes of the past year. But 2022 has not been a normal year. Understandably, employees are tired, and feeling concerned about the current economic climate we find ourselves in. The challenge for businesses is the knock-on impact that these feelings of fatigue will be having on employee morale, and overall business performance.
“Employees will look to their employers for support, direction and reassurance through the turbulent times ahead. Businesses must understand how teams are feeling and engage employees in conversations about burnout – including the importance of taking time off – using workplace tools to gauge their stress levels. Leaders, including line managers, can then also work with individuals to reduce work-related exhaustion and provide support where it is needed most.”
Ian is sharing his advice to business leaders on how to approach and effectively manage employee seasonal stress and burnout.
- Communicate with your team, openly and honestly. There are tough times ahead, so it’s important to take your team on the journey with you and ensure they understand the tough decisions you have to make. In fact, nearly a quarter of respondents (23%) said more transparency into the business strategy for the year ahead and the organisations financial performance would help to alleviate feelings of stress in the workplace.
- Ignore wishful thinking and trust the data. Ensure that you are capturing the right insights on your team to get a sense of how they are currently feeling. Detailed analysis of resignation rates, pulse surveys and absence data can in fact paint a clear picture of burnout. And correlating these findings with business results helps leaders to understand why and where investments are required to reduce burnout.
- Let the data patterns do the talking. Businesses should look at their data to determine patterns among specific demographics, such as whether there is a link between gender, remote working arrangements, and the perception of employee performance as work related stresses affect people differently.