Advanced Software (return to the homepage)
The most wonderful time of the year...
Blog //20-12-2023

The most wonderful time of the year...

by Lauren Campbell, Content Executive

This week many workplaces will be winding down to welcome in the festivities for Christmas, the most wonderful time of the year…

But whilst there may be a lot of teams thinking about party arrangements, secret Santa, festive treats, and decorations, it is important to be mindful that for many, this time of year is not the easiest to celebrate.

Waving goodbye to 2023

It is no secret that 2023 has had its own unique set of challenges both socially, economically, and environmentally. So, Christmas time may come as a welcome distraction for a lot of people, an excuse to celebrate cheer amongst a time of disruption. However, whilst we are still amidst a cost-of-living crisis, and loneliness in the UK is at an all-time high, we do need to take some extra time to be understanding and empathetic towards those who might find this time of year difficult to navigate. 

For team leaders, it is important to continue to encourage open and honest conversations and to check-in with employees before annual leave commences. Likewise for all members of the team, just showing kindness or patience can make the world of difference for someone who is struggling.

This taboo topic can be a difficult one to discuss in the workplace, but it is important to be mindful that you really do not know what may be affecting someone’s ability to focus on work, meet their end of year targets, or why they may not wish to celebrate Christmas; whether it is for religious beliefs, family issues, financial worries, bereavement, or other. So do be respectful and understanding.

The importance of connection:

We should never underestimate the significance of meaningful conversations. Lending a listening ear and encouraging a peer or team member to open up enables teams to better connect. When employees feel truly supported and trust their organisation, this leads to higher staff satisfaction and retention rates.

Encouraging regular constructive feedback and open conversation should be something that happens all year round. A continuous feedback model offers the chance for employees and team leaders to regularly check-in on projects, work-life, and personal life, to form deeper connections amongst teams. The ability to give and receive constructive feedback on a regular basis also supports continuous growth and professional development, therefore leading to a happier and more successful workforce. With the days of annual appraisals quickly fading, more organisations are opting for a modernised approach to supporting staff performance and well-being, by utilising innovative technologies that are available on the market, such as Advanced Performance and Talent.

Our Performance and Talent solution provides a continuous way for managers and their teams to connect, and regular goal tracking can help identify if there may be an underlying problem causing an employee’s performance to drop. In some cases it is not so obvious to spot if an employee or team member is struggling, so here are some signs to look out for if you are concerned:

  • They have withdrawn, they may be quieter on calls or around the office/workplace
  • The quality of their work has dipped
  • They appear distracted or vacant
  • They are taking on an excessive amount of over-time to make ends meet
  • Signs of sleep deprivation or substance misuse. This time of year, can be very triggering for some and may cause them to turn to dangerous coping mechanisms.

What can you do to support employees?

Be gentle and have patience. Try to avoid seeing workplace issues as a ‘one size fits all’ approach, everyone has their own way of approaching or dealing with problems. If someone’s response to workplace conflict seems out of character, then calmly ask to speak to them in private and try to understand what pressures they may be facing.

Understand that burn-out is a real problem. The added pressure to ‘get in the festive spirit’ can lead to employees rushing to finish their year on a high. Even for the highest achieving employees, this can leave people overwhelmed. Encourage everyone to take regular breaks and manage their workload efficiently. Although it may be tempting to push hard to finish the year by overachieving on your targets, consider how this may impact staff who are already managing a lot during this busy period.

Create a safe space for employees to share any concerns that they may have and, where necessary or applicable, offer additional support with external counselling services. Many businesses offer at least one free session as part of well-being schemes. Encourage employees to access this resource if you are concerned.

How can Advanced help to further support you:

Advanced People Management solutions are designed to help organisations to support and empower their people to complete their best work all year round. Our Performance and Talent solution is brilliant for facilitating and encouraging meaningful conversations in the workplace through continuous performance management. 

The unified platform allows organisations and team leaders to set clear, agile goals, it promotes giving and receiving regular feedback, and it drives managers to have regular meaningful conversations with their team members to support employee development and happiness. By improving communication in the workplace to build trust, employee wellbeing and engagement is improved resulting in a happier, more meaningful, and productive workplace.

For more information about how to support your workforce with more proactive people management capabilities, reach out today or visit:
People Management Software | Advanced (  

Blog Clear Review Human Resource
Lauren Campbell

Lauren Campbell


Content Executive

Lauren has been with OneAdvanced since March 2021, bringing well-built experience in both writing and the marketing landscape. She has been previously responsible for driving the relationships with our strategic technology partners, and now creates insightful and thought-provoking content for Advanced, specialising in our Spend Management and Governance space.

Read published articles