I get it – the holidays may be the busiest, most frustrating time of the year for your business. Demand for products and services skyrockets as gift-buying escalates. As lines get long, tempers can get short – on both sides of the counter. Your customers are under pressure to finish their holiday preparations, deal with kids bouncing off the walls and meet all their “joyful” obligations. You need your staff to be extra patient, extra friendly and extra efficient. The reality is, you need them to be at their best when they have all the same pressures, time constraints, plans and problems your customers have.
So, what can you do to help them have a jolly holiday despite the hassles? It doesn’t take a lot of time, money, or effort to keep employees feeling positive about working for you, even during the busiest season – a little of each goes a long way toward job satisfaction and loyalty.
Thank them – When you know your staff is hustling to meet the demands of the season, take a minute often to tell them that you can see that they are working hard and that you really appreciate it. Remind them that their effort matters and that you will all succeed together. If they’re working longer hours or doing tasks outside their usual job description, be generous with acknowledgement and thanks.
Treat them – It’s amazing how much a simple thing like food platters, special coffee, cookies, snacks, or candy can brighten your workplace and bring a smile to your staff. You may even be able to go all out and have a full lunch delivered, especially if everyone’s so busy they can’t leave for lunch. Hungry people are often cranky people who make more mistakes on details, forget important information and generally don’t perform well – not exactly the holiday spirit you’re looking for! Treating your team to goodies on the job will require a small amount of your time for planning and a relatively small financial expense, but when you consider the benefits of employees at their best compared to drained, exhausted workers, you’ll soon see it’s a great investment.
Take care of them – Your staff is the key to your company’s success. It’s their talent, effort and commitment that makes it possible for you to serve your customers and achieve your goals. Especially at the holidays, when they have high demands on them both on the job and at home, it’s important that you’re thinking of ways to refresh them, so they don’t burn out. You’ll want to consider your employees’ particular needs and what you are able to do, but here are a few ideas: Some people could really use some financial help at the holidays, so a gift card to a grocery store could make a big difference. Others might need an extra day off once the hectic time has passed. A gift card for a massage might be just what another person needs. Think about how you can help your staff recover from the holiday frenzy and do what you can.
The holidays are a special time, with celebrations taking place from Halloween through New Year’s, and as beautiful and meaningful as some of them are, they can be stressful and difficult. I just want to encourage you to help your team do more than just survive. With your encouragement and a little extra effort, you can build enthusiasm, loyalty and commitment that will help you achieve success all year!
Live, Work and Relate Well!