Staff wellbeing: five tips for tackling busy season stress
You need to look after yourself before you can look after clients.
If steps aren’t taken, busy season can be exceptionally hard on people and their mental health, resulting in unmanageable stress and burnout.
Consider the following as starting points for looking after yourself and your staff this busy season.
1) Rely on routine
Due to busy season demands, many accountants work far beyond their set hours throughout the entire period.
While there’s a lot to do, putting yourself under such strain isn’t sustainable or healthy.
To help keep yourself in check, set a strict routine outlining start times, breaks, lunch and finish times.
By regulating your workdays and taking the appropriate time to decompress after a hard day, in the long run, you’ll be far happier and more productive.
2) Have regular check-ins
While it may feel like time is of the essence, be sure to still have regular catch-ups – in-person or virtual – with your team, helping them prioritise and manage their workloads.
Also, consider how you’re communicating, as traditionally, we focus on talking, informing and problem-solving rather than listening and empathising.
3) Take a break
“Almost everything will work again if you unplug it for a few minutes, including you.” – Anne Lamott, Novelist.
Allowing yourself breaks throughout the day helps you stay fresh, motivated and ready to tackle busy season.
Mental wellbeing and physical health are also intertwined, so use breaks as an opportunity to get a little bit of exercise in – even if that’s a stroll to get some fresh air.
4) Familiarise yourself with signs of high stress
As a leader, it’s important to be empathetic towards your team’s stress and aware of indicators.
Look out for:
- Visual signifiers of stress
- Drops in enthusiasm
- Lack of communication
- An inability to switch off
- Issues with performance
By spotting the warning signs, you can act and support staff before the stress becomes too much.
5) Eliminate prejudice
There can still be outdated stigmas associated with wellbeing and mental health in the workplace.
A huge step to supporting staff is eliminating any prejudice surrounding the topic.
“Mental health is just a human condition, and depending on what storm of life is passing us by, we’re all prone to these moments.” – Hazel Lowndes, Founder, Ginger Dog.
The more we relax our own humanity, and the less we judge people for struggling during challenging periods, the easier it will be to support their recovery.
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