FOR MOST RETAILERS, the month of December is a journey with extended hours, fewer days off, and the highest foot traffic of the year. If your employees are happy, your customers will be, too! Here are five ways to prevent seasonal burnout by ensuring employee and customer happiness during the holidays.
1. Team lunches. With the increased foot traffic in December, it is difficult for staff to leave the store at lunch, so make it enjoyable and easy for them to stay in. Send an email out to your top suppliers and see if they would like to sponsor a lunch during December for your team. Ask them for a budget, and you can arrange to contact local restaurants in advance to schedule lunches for the month. Don’t forget to order from any of your current customers who owns a local restaurant. You want them to spend their money locally with you, so do the same in return. For the days you do not have a sponsor, do a team “pot luck” lunch where all staff members can bring their favorite dish or dessert.
2. Morning meeting agenda. Spice up your morning meetings by setting the tone for the rest of the day. It doesn’t have to cost a lot or take a lot of time; just make it positive, fun, or motivational. Create holiday-themed games like reindeer races or recognize staff for large sales or saving a sale. You could even play short, motivational videos from YouTube to inspire your team.
3. Consider your team’s lives outside of work. Yes, the store is busy and sales are soaring, but don’t forget to stop and consider your team has a life outside of work. Be more flexible and understanding with staff members who have kids’ holiday programs to attend or who are experiencing their first holiday without a loved one. Remember that many families enjoy being together on Christmas Eve, and your employees are not an exception! Closing a few hours early on Christmas Eve will not have a substantial impact on your December numbers or your customers. In fact, customers are more understanding this time of year and want to spend their money with a retailer that values employees. Such seemingly insignificant changes can have a considerable impact on your employees.
4. Contests. Create contests (whether daily, weekly or monthly) to incentivize your team to do great things. Create these contests based on what you as a store owner would like to move. An example would be a contest that incentivizes them to sell aged inventory or larger ticket items. Also, motivate them to continue selling until the customer says they are done.
5. Give back. Remember the less fortunate by choosing to sponsor a family so they can have presents under the tree this year. Ask your team members to get involved. Have a large box at the front door so when customers walk in, they can donate to the gift drive that you can then take to a local shelter. And be sure to share this on your social media for customers to know prior to coming in to do their holiday shopping.