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Tips on Helping Employees Cope with Loneliness Over the Holidays

With a second lockdown in some Ontario cities and continued social distancing restrictions, people are feeling lonelier than ever, especially with the holidays just around the corner.

Whether your employees have family overseas, family based in another city or town, or are unable to visit their loved ones due to age or illness – there are ways you can show your support to help them feel less alone.

Below are a few ideas on how you can check-in with your employees.

1. Have regular check-ins with your employees.

Not all employees will reach out for support when they need it, which is why it is important as a leader in your company to reach out to your employees first. By taking this first step, overtime your employees will get more comfortable sharing their thoughts, feelings, and experiences with you in the future. Some examples of questions you could ask your employees are:

- What do you like or dislike about working from home for the last several months?

- Are you managing your workload okay?

- Do you have friends and family that you are able to virtually connect with?

- What are some of your concerns, if any, regarding the pandemic?

It doesn’t have to be everyday, but maybe you decide to check-in with them every other week or on a monthly basis.

2. Have casual video meetings.

With a lot of people working from home due to the pandemic, there is a certain level of workplace culture that has been lost within companies. You could schedule a casual meeting once a month on Friday afternoons, for example, where your employees can talk to each other about how they’re coping through the corona virus pandemic, if they’ve learned anything new while spending more time at home, any new projects they’ve been working on, etc. Doing something regular like this will definitely brighten your company’s spirits while everyone is working in isolation at home.

3. Encourage employee-led virtual meetups and check-ins.

Having your employees reach out to each other is another way to boost company morale. Encourage your staff to think of one another by maybe:

- Sending a quick email to another employee and asking them how they’re doing?

- Asking another employee if they need help with anything?

- Setting up a casual virtual meeting to catch up with another employee.

- And much more…

4. Remind employees to reach out if they need help.

Ensure you remind your employees to reach out if they are really in need of some help. There has been a lot of uncertainty this year with the looming pandemic and with the holidays approaching it doesn’t make things easier. Let your employees know that you are there for them if they need to talk, if your employees are feeling burnt out – give them some time off to recuperate, provide your employees with mental health related resources, etc. Some of your employees may not even know that there is help and resources within your company available, so be sure to remind them that there is a support system.


Human Resources Director

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