This holiday season, employees should be looking forward to office gift swaps and heading home to celebrate. But with normal life disrupted by COVID-19, workers are looking at a very different holiday season. Instead of holiday cheer, some studies warn, we could be looking at holiday depression—in record numbers.

Show your support for your staff this holiday season by showcasing the ways your company is set up to help them. Rather than simply pretending things are business as usual, your company can provide empathetic leadership and help maintain a resilient workforce.

Empathy and Flexibility

While goals must still be met and daily work still achieved, empathic leaders understand that their teams are operating under a heavy mental load as the holidays approach. Workers respond to empathy — one study found 60% of workers would take a pay-cut to work at an empathetic company.

Empathetic leaders make time to talk to their employees one-on-one, encouraging them to speak about challenges they’re facing, and prioritize their wellness over all else. This could lead to some needed flexibility, like adjusting deadlines, finding additional help to finish a project. Managers may also find they can recommend different company benefits to employees — anything from EAP to financial planning — so knowledge of available benefits is necessary.

Leverage Company Benefits

What’s available to your employees that can support them through the holiday season? Mental health benefits such as EAP, mindfulness apps, and even physical fitness benefits like yoga all present opportunities for supporting employees through a difficult season. Financial benefits, such as analysts, can help families feeling the pinch this season get through their holiday gift-list without placing even more strain on their bank accounts.

Build up stronger, more resilient employees by leveraging the benefits your company already offers. Make sure your leadership teams are aware of these benefits and when it’s appropriate to recommend them to their employees.

Targeted Communications

Not everyone is going to ask for help, and not every leader is going to spot signs of strain in their employees, so targeting communications to your entire workforce can help individuals find the help they need. Emails, bulletin board posts, and other mass media communications can show that your company culture is one of caring, empathetic individuals ready to look out for one another.

Plus, encouraging employees to recognize that they’re going through a rough time and to look for tell-tale signs that they need help — and where they can find it — can assist even the most independent workers in getting the assistance they need.

It’s not business as usual in 2020, and that applies to the current holiday season, as well. The simple acts of reaching out to your employees, through leadership and company communication, could make a big difference.

Could your company use help with access to employee benefits and communications? WBD can help! Contact us for more on what we do to streamline Human Resources operations for a stronger, more resilient workforce.