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Navigating Holiday Stress: The Crucial Role of Perceptive Leadership in a Turbulent World

Future-focused workplace culture expert, author, and journalist Jennifer Moss emphasizes the impact of external stressors, especially during the holiday season, on workplace well-being. She explains that by empowering managers, promoting open communication, and fostering a positive work environment, leaders can contribute to rediscovering happiness at work amid difficult times.

Navigating Holiday Stress Blog Post

The holidays are proving to be even more stressful again this year. One of the biggest factors, according to one study, is the state of the world. 81 percent of respondents said that national issues and world affairs are causing them stress.

Research finds that the most effective leaders are the most perceptive. They are able to quickly pull in data — like non-verbal cues — in the moment. For example, they may notice when someone withdraws in a meeting. They’ll look for patterns to see when this occurs and find empathy-based solutions.

Perceptive leaders are also aware when external stressors could be impacting their workforce. Like this holiday season — already stressful for many — but coupled with the weight of the world it may be harder than most. For leaders, this is a time to dial up that perceptiveness. Start by:

  1. Empowering managers to reach out and set up safe places to talk — small groups make it easier to share.
  2. Ensuring people can access professional help. Be explicit – include step-by-step directives within the communication and let people know if there is no cost – remove the mental barriers. 90 percent of medium to large organizations have an EAP (employee assistance program) but only 40 percent use them – these are just a few of the reasons why.
  3. Bring some levity into a dark time. In my recent Harvard Business Review article, I offer ways for leaders to rebuild belonging and purpose at work for a healthier and happier workforce.

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