Managing Workers During the Holidays

When the holiday rush approaches, retailers need to get ready. But while is the time of year when you make the most sales, you need to look after your staff if you want them to perform effectively.

Your staff will need some strong management to get them through the busiest time of the year. Your goal should be to ensure everyone is not only happy and productive as individuals but also performing well as a team too.

Staff management is always important, but it becomes even more important at busy times of the year. Here are some top staff management tips to help you as the holiday season approaches.

Acknowledge Their Hard Work

One of the most important things of all is to make sure you acknowledge how hard your employees are working throughout the holiday rush. This means giving them lots of praise and doing your best to keep up morale. This is important all year round, but it becomes even more crucial when you are at your busiest.

Praise their achievements when they do particularly well, send out company emails, hold meetings, and thank individual members of staff who have gone above and beyond.

Don’t wait until after the holidays are over to thank everyone. Do it now and do it regularly. You need everyone to be at the top of their game, and raising morale through public praise can achieve that.

You could even give them rewards in recognition of their hard work. Rewards could include days off, staff parties, gift cards, small bonuses — anything to show your appreciation. But most importantly, simply remember to say thank you and show your employees that they are appreciated.

Get a Backup Team in Place

Everyone knows that identifying market trends is a vital part of any business’s growth, but it’s equally important when it comes to identifying busy periods for your retail business too. Forewarned is forearmed, which means you can start putting in backup measures for your staff well in advance.

Because ultimately, things are going to get really busy, so you don’t want to risk burnout. You may need to hire extra staff and relief workers, otherwise, your employees may start taking days off sick because of the stress. These staff will need hands-on training at least a month in advance of your busy period, so it pays to start hiring early.

Burnout is serious, and it can have a terrible effect on your store if key people are not there. You need to listen to your employees before the rush begins, and hear their concerns. If they are unable to do all the work themselves, don’t see it as a sign of weakness.

Start looking early on to find your relief workers, then make sure you have enough hands on deck to deal with the unique demands placed upon your team at this time of year.

Get Smart with Delegation

You need to be particularly effective at delegating tasks during the holiday rush to make sure everyone is doing the right thing. Look at your team and analyze their abilities and experience levels, then choose the right candidates for certain tasks.

Be open to suggestions. They may think they are better at a certain task, so take their views into consideration. Once you delegate, make sure they are willing to do the tasks you set them.

Make Them Feel Like a Team

Team spirit is important at any time of year, but especially when things are busy. Part of this involves saying thank you and making them feel appreciated, but it also means making sure everyone helps out and does their work.

Look out for people not doing their fair share of the work, as this can have a negative effect on team morale. Don’t give anyone preferential treatment, and make sure people feel comfortable coming to you with their concerns. If everyone feels like they are in it together, they will work harder.

Communicate Their Achievements

When your team does well, make sure they know it. When you hit targets and reach certain sales figures, don’t keep them quiet — celebrate them. Make sure your employees know that all their hard work is paying off.

Don’t Push Them Too Far

Look out for signs of burnout and stress at this time of year. Monitor their workloads and don’t give them too much. It’s easy to expect that everyone has to do more work, but you don’t want them to overdo it.

Where people are struggling, do something about it to help them avoid burnout. Find out where efficiency is falling and ensure everyone can still enjoy a good work-life balance.

Be the Leader They Need

One thing you cannot do is let them think you are not working as hard as they are. Your work may be different to theirs, but they should see that you are working just as hard as they are. Try to lead by example.

Have Fun

Try to have some fun along the way. It can be hard when you all have more work to do but introduce elements of fun like games and humor. Post funny motivational team announcements, invite them out for a drink after work and make sure everyone enjoys themselves.

Reward Your Staff at the End

When it is all over and things have calmed down, reward your staff. Let them know how grateful you are for their hard work, and ensure they all get a good break. Hold a meeting to communicate all their successes and the sales figures you smashed, and let them know they have done a great job. That way, they will be far more likely to put in the work at the same time next year.

It can be a challenge to keep your staff motivated, happy, and productive at any time of the year, but the holiday rush presents a unique challenge. You need all your staff to be at the top of their game at this time of year, and that means you should take particular care to ensure they are doing the best they can without risking burnout. So keep these tips in mind in the run-up to the holiday season, and make sure you get the most out of your staff.

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Patrick Foster is an entrepreneur and online retail expert who writes for Ecommerce Tips, where he shares his insight into everything ecommerce. From business tips to marketing advice, you can find it all and more on Twitter @myecommercetips.

Learn more about how you can use Allwork this holiday season to efficiently find, manage, and pay your retail staff. Our jobs platform allows you to quickly post an open retail position and get qualified candidates in the store – fast. For more information, or to see a full demo of the AllWork platform, contact us at info@allworknow.com.

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