’Tis the season. As we consider the fast-approaching holiday season, we are thinking about company traditions, giving gifts, paid time off, dinners, holiday parties, Santa visits, and more. Some of us might even have some “Bah, humbug!” in us. Not everyone has experienced wonderful holiday seasons.

It is also the season when some of your employees just think about making it through each day and the added stress of the holiday season. Some of your employees do not have enough financial and emotional resources to participate in a company gift exchange, participate in holiday parties, provide a holiday meal for family, or even make rent. This can be a very stressful time of year for your employees. The article “Surviving the Holidays While Poor”graphically outlines one mother’s struggle during the holidays. As she says, “One person’s kayak is another person’s rent.”

What can you do to support your employees?

  • Provide grocery gift cards.
  • Offer a children’s toy fund drive, or, better yet, partner with one of the existing nonprofits in your community to offer the toy drive.
  • Provide paid time off during the holidays. When you are making close to minimum wage, being off work for the holidays and not being paid is a real hardship.
  • Offer a food pantry at the business; it can be donated to by employees.
  • Have a counselor available for confidential conversations.
  • Donate to a local food pantry.
  • Volunteer your time at a kitchen or food shelter.
  • Invite a coworker to spend the holiday with you.
  • Call 211, the human services hotline servicing most of the United States. Contact your local United Way or Salvation Army to see if they offer an adopt-a-family program in your area.
  • Create an anonymous adopt-a-coworker program in your building.

The book Workplace Stability looks at your employees by economic class. What must employees living in daily instability do each day to survive? How do employees living in daily instability spend their time? What about owners, funders, and shareholders who live in long-term stability? Where is their time and money spent? When you better understand these differences, then you can create policies, benefits, and training to retain and grow your employees all year, creating a win-win for everyone.

May you have peace, joy, laughter, and festivities this holiday season as you spend time with your employees, your family, and your friends. We have been blessed. Let’s pass blessings along.