Top Tips for Supporting Hospitality Workers Mental Health this Christmas

As we find ourselves midway through the bustling festivities, restaurants, hotels, and various hospitality venues are immersed in a world of Christmas parties and family celebrations. However, beyond the glittering lights and festive cheer, there’s a pressing yet often unspoken concern—the mental health of the dedicated individuals powering these great experiences.

At Shield Safety, where safeguarding public health and safety remains our top priority, recognising the paramount importance of mental health support for hospitality workers during this busy period is fundamental. But it’s not just about fostering a cheerful atmosphere; it’s about creating a safe, nurturing, and supportive environment for everyone involved. This blog, in partnership with the Burnt Chef Project highlights you can recognise and prevent mental health matters in the workplace.

Insights and statistics:

During a recent Shield Safety webinar, Kris Hall the Founder of The Burnt Chef Project provided valuable insights into the mental health challenges faced by hospitality workers during the festive rush. Hall highlighted significant statistics that showcased a twofold increase in the risk of mental health issues and stress since the onset of COVID-19. He highlighted, “The World Health Organization estimates, across the global economy, it costs $1tn annually in lost productivity. And that’s probably one of the hardest things to get our heads around. This isn’t necessarily absenteeism when someone isn’t in the business. This also equates to presenteeism, which is one of the bigger risks that we face at the moment, which is where we are telling ourselves I am sick, I’m unwell, whether it’s physically or mentally, but I must go in, because if I don’t do it, no one else will.”

Furthermore, Hall emphasised the broader impact across various industries, specifically pinpointing workload, job suitability, and emotional pressures as primary catalysts for burnout and mental health concerns. He stated, “Some of the short-term effects of work-related stress include things like reduced performance and slower reaction times. You might find that you have an increase in headaches, maybe weight loss or weight gain, as a result of stress. If you’ve got team members who are perhaps a little bit quieter or withdrawn than normal, they may be appearing at work late, and leaving early, or even appearing early and leaving late, they’re all leading indicators of burnout. These are the sort of the things that I would look out for within yourself or within your team members.”

Stressors and coping mechanisms for mental health:

In the high-paced hospitality industry during festive seasons, several factors affect workers mental load:

High workload and time pressure: increased demand during peak times often leads to long working hours and high-pressure environments, contributing significantly to stress.

Emotional strain: dealing with diverse customer demands and managing emotions amid busy periods can be emotionally taxing for workers.

Unclear roles and communication: ambiguity in job roles or insufficient communication can cause stress and impact work efficiency.

To cope with these challenges, fostering a supportive work environment and implementing effective coping mechanisms is crucial. These include:

Encouraging regular breaks: adequate breaks are necessary to alleviate stress and prevent burnout, enhancing productivity and well-being.

Supportive leadership: clear communication and supportive leadership can create a positive work culture and reduce stress levels.

Mental health support services: access to counselling or support services such as The Burnt Chef Project offer essential resources for workers facing mental health challenges all year round.

Resources at your fingertips

As we navigate the remainder of this festive season, let’s proactively address and prioritise the mental health challenges faced by our invaluable hospitality workers. By understanding the triggers that can affect individual’s mental health and promoting effective coping mechanisms, we can cultivate a healthier, more supportive work environment. Shield Safety remains committed to championing mental health support, ensuring a brighter and more fulfilling festive season for everyone contributing to these great Christmas experiences.

Revisit our informative WEBINAR on addressing mental health challenges within the hospitality industry during the holiday rush. Gain valuable insights and strategies to support your team’s well-being.

The Burnt Chef resources:

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