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This holiday season, communicate resilience and empathy to your employees and stakeholders

It’s the time of the year when companies are preparing Christmas and New Year season celebrations – there are plans for parties, greetings and gifts. There’s a sense of hope, cheer and celebration in the air. However, there is also the fact that  a lot of employees have gone through difficult times – loss, economical and mental conditions.

It’s imperative for companies and their leaders to communicate sensitively over this  holiday season. Instead of canned messages, when sending out your season’s greetings, leaders need to look for ways that they can go the extra mile in making their employees, clients and stakeholders feel valued and cherished. 

This is a time for reflection and for empathy and as leaders you can adapt your communication organically to send out a message of empathy and resilience. We suggest some ways you can take a more proactive approach in your season’s greetings this year.

  1.  Offer reassurance – As a business leader, let people know that the organisation is there for them, that you’re listening and that you care. Transparency in communication can help alleviate stress and remind people that they are a part of a larger unit. When employees start looking at the bigger picture, they tend to focus less on themselves and more on how they can help others, leading to camaraderie within the organisation and in the society.
  2.  Minimise fear – During challenging times, the fear of the unknown can grip people. As a business leader, you can assure support from the organisation and the management. Fear can also be minimised by responding instead of reacting. Encourage people to respond to the situation with their solutions and help them understand that as a team, you can get through anything.
  3. Encourage meaningful conversations – Encourage your employees to have conversations as this will create an atmosphere of support and trust and ensure that they feel heard. Communicate to them that strength is commendable but they are allowed to step back and take care of themselves. If there are employee assistance programs in place, remind them to make use of them to help them in whatever way necessary.
  4. Use resilient language – As a leader, you need to be full of hope and empathy. Use inspiring and resilient language will help your employees find the strength and ability to continue to work together. Language that shows that ‘we are all in this together’, that we will face it all together, will go a long way in creating a sense of belonging, trust and resilience in employees and bring in meaningful festive cheer. Showing hope for the future is also important, so be sure to describe your vision for the organisation and where you think the team will be next year.
  5. Go analog – Along with timely emails and newsletters, sometimes one on one communication can mean much more. As managers to call their team members, and speak to them or meet them in person customising the message as per the employee’s needs. This is the time to remind employees that you appreciate their professionalism and their hard work even in the face of many challenges.

During trying times, organisations should convey the goal that they’re there to help and protect as well as ease the burdens of their employees; it fosters loyalty and also makes them feel valued. Perfectly worded wishes are important but actions prove that you mean them. 

The holidays can be triggering for various reasons but with the help of the right words, leaders can help employees cope with the many changing equations. This is the perfect opportunity to show people how much they mean to you. Season’s greetings can spread cheer and hope but they can also be a way to show support for one another.