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The holidays are usually full of celebrations, joy, and quality time with loved ones, but many traditions will look different this year. Whether employees are struggling to find a new work-life balance, missing family and friends, or worrying about the health of loved ones, there will be many new stresses and anxieties this season. As an employer, it’s important to recognize these challenges and find ways to provide extra support for your employees during this time.

Give the gift of appreciation

This goes without saying, but 2020 has been hard. Acknowledging your team’s commitment to your organization during this challenging year will go a long way towards providing happiness and alleviating stress. At Assurance, we use a “high five” appreciation program where employees can send an electronic thank you note or message of appreciation to a team member to highlight an accomplishment, a milestone, or simply a job well done. Other gestures that can have a huge impact include handwritten notes, a shout out during a team meeting, or a gift card to a favorite takeout spot.

Make time for mindfulness

With most people working remotely these days, it can seem like a constant juggling act between work deadlines, remote schooling, and home responsibilities. Add an endless holiday to-do list, and it can seem impossible to keep all these balls in the air at once. Think about ways you can alleviate some of this stress for your employees. Many organizations are offering flex schedules, where employees can work during the hours that are most convenient for them. It’s also important to encourage employees to take time off, even if they’re not able to travel this year. A staycation and a few days away from work emails can have a significant impact on mental health and help avoid burnout. In addition to flexibility and time off, many employers are introducing new wellness and mental health activities to help employees manage stress during the work day. Assurance’s wellness program recently added a free digital yoga membership where employees can enjoy physically distant yoga, mindfulness, and meditation classes a few times a week.

Spread holiday cheer (virtually)

Although large in-person holiday parties aren’t realistic this year, that doesn’t mean you should let the season pass by without a celebration. It may require some creative brainstorming, but virtual celebrations are a great way to show appreciation and spread holiday cheer. In lieu of Assurance’s usual in-person company-wide holiday party, this year employees were invited to a choose-your-own-adventure virtual holiday party. After selecting either a cooking class, wine tasting or art experience, each employee will be shipped the supplies they need to enjoy a live Zoom experience from the comfort of their own home. To learn more about how Assurance is helping our employees and our clients during this challenging time, contact a member of the ‘A’ Team.



Michelle Lodl is the Vice President of Human Resources at Assurance. Her main responsibility is to develop Assurance’s current and future leaders, recruit top insurance talent and enable business scalability while maintaining a “Best Place to Work” culture. Michelle received her MBA from Loyola University in Chicago, and her Bachelor of Arts degree from Carroll University. Michelle currently holds her Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR) certification. She is a member of the Society for Human Resources Management, HR Management Association of Chicago, and regularly volunteers with Feed My Starving Children and Junior Achievement of Chicago.

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