Christmas Holidays: Managing the Wind Up Before the Wind Down

by Dec 20, 2022Human Resources, Industrial Relations, View All

The Christmas holiday wind down can be particularly busy for businesses, especially HR, with events to plan, appraisals to conduct and multiple leave requests and rosters to oversee.  Evidentially, the ‘wind up’ is generally a very busy time for most businesses and detrimental to employee satisfaction and productivity, often resulting in burnout and resignation. It should be no surprise that career site statistics (Indeed, 2018), have found that most individuals search for jobs at the start of a New Year. Do you see the cause for concern here?

As an employer, neglecting to improve staff morale prior to the Christmas holidays may see you lose some of your best employees this season. To reduce and avoid stress, unhappiness and burnout in the workplace, we strongly advise that businesses consider the following as they prepare for the holiday wind down:


Make a list of all the tasks that ABSOLUTELY must get done before you go on holidays. Think beyond what is required immediately and consider what will cause you stress or concern throughout the holidays or upon return. In particular, any task that you might see yourself working on IN YOUR BREAK! Everyone deserves to rest and reset.


If there are aspects of your job that will need to be managed whilst you are away, ensure that you have a quality handover with the person responsible for this, giving you the confidence that it will be managed correctly whilst away.


Show employees that you are aware of individual and group efforts, particularly as they commit and buckle down. Formal performance reviews may not be scheduled until the new year, however the provision of informal feedback is important in communicating to employees that they are noticed and valued.

Fair Scheduling

If the office isn’t closed over the Christmas and New Year period, it is important that HR listen to employee requests and try to manage the distribution of hours fairly. Be inclusive and consider differing needs such as religion and family, and review rosters from previous years to ensure the same people are not working each year.

Annual Leave

Encourage employees to take leave throughout the year. The Christmas holiday season is busy and is not always the best time to take a holiday for relaxation or wellness. Instead, try to encourage vacations at other times of year which will allow employees to switch off and take time out on a different level. This will also make it easier to accommodate rostering if the workplace operates within the Christmas Holidays.


Christmas is a busy and stressful time of year, both at home and in the workplace. It is important that consideration is made for differing personal circumstances, providing support to employees that may be feeling burnout or need mental health support. If you feel an employee is experiencing such, see our article, ‘You are not alone – Employee Burnout’.

Workplace Culture

Summarise the office achievements and rally motivation amongst employees by identifying key changes, challenges and goals for the year ahead. Promote and encourage participation in the company social events to see employees unwind and bond! If you are looking for ideas, see our article, ‘5 Fun Christmas Party Ideas’.

Assurance HR Management assist many businesses within Tasmania throughout the Christmas Holidays. If you have any current concerns surrounding employee leave, overtime, bonuses, rostering, performance or mental health, do not hesitate in calling us on 1800 577 515 and speaking with one of our team.  As we enter the holiday period our response times may be slightly longer, however we will do our best to respond swiftly to assist in solving your workplace problems so you can enjoy your holidays.

Indeed. (2018, January 15). New year, new job: But where do aussies want to work?.

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