The countdown to the Silly Season is on, with preparations needed to ensure a busy (yet managed) period for your business.
Over the holidays, there’s plenty of opportunity to maximise your bookings, but if you’re thinking about holidays, it’ likely your staff are too… It’s no secret that December can be notoriously unproductive as holidays plans take priority. It’s a good idea to plan ahead for this, setting deadlines now to wrap up the annual year and ensure Christmas celebrations don’t take a cut from your business. Motivating staff throughout this period may seem like a challenge, but it’s important to gauge the staff and use methods to motivate them to get through the next few weeks.
Here are some of our tips to keep employees focused and motivated right up until Christmas.
1. Lead by example. One of the easiest steps but often the most overlooked. Are you behaving the same way you want your staff to be? Are you on-time for work, taking the correct break times and staying until closing? What about your attitude; are you maintaining enthusiastic, approachable and responsive? Behaviour is infectious, so it’s up to you to decide how everyone can feel.
2. Plan the roster! Encourage the time off to be taken in the next couple of weeks or otherwise in the New Year. For many businesses, December is a ‘block out month’ for taking annual leave, which should be understood by staff too. If your business operates over Christmas or New Years, make sure staff have plenty of notice on which of the days they are expected to be working, confirm they accept these hours.
While you are organising the roster, remember to be attentive to scheduling. Look back to last year to assess how busy you were during the season. With school holidays and Christmas, your customer’s schedules may change. Make sure you’ve adequately rostered staff in accordance to predicted numbers and peak hours.
3. Employee perks. Many businesses offer extra breaks during busy periods (just an extra 10-15 minutes for a snack or coffee). Think of other ways you can include some perks to work in your business for the season. Don't forget that holiday traditions are surrounded by food. This doesn’t mean you have to organise a large, catered meal everyday but rather office snacks and treats to share and celebrate the season.
4. Acknowledge a successful year. Whether you are planning a Christmas party, office drinks or an out-of-office activity day, let your team know their hard work has been recognised and appreciated over the year. Another way to show appreciation is thank you notes. This is a small but gracious gesture you can easily provide within a Christmas card. It is important to appreciate the people who you work with and at the end of the year is a fitting time to do so.
5. Be understanding. This may be the most important time of the year for you as a manager to relate to staff and be attentive. Staff may encounter difficult customers or situations overwhelming to them. Make sure you are available to handle any issues and smooth over any disruptions to the daily routine. This season is a time to spend with loved ones and can be difficult for some people, remember to be kind and caring with staff.
On the business side, begin some campaigns now so you’ve maximised your potential for bookings in the Christmas season. Get creative with your campaigns and use different channels to share your product. Check out our other blog on Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) to showcase your business and drive bookings.