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5 Ways to Energize Employees during the Holiday Season

Nov 16, 2021

A woman carrying several gifts

It’s the most wonderful time of year! However, in the retail world, the time leading up to the holidays can also be the most demanding and hectic times for you and your employees. With so much going on, employee engagement and satisfaction can suffer, especially during peak hours. As a leader, it’s up to you to keep your employees focused and happy during the holidays so they can continue to serve your customers with the same high level of quality they would during the rest of the year.

We’ve compiled these seven tips on how to keep your employees motivated during the holidays!

1.       Address the challenge ahead of time

2.       Get in a festive mood

3.       Show your appreciation

4.       Respect your employees’ time

5.       Plan a post-holiday celebration

Address the challenge ahead of time

As you know, you’re about to get a lot more in-store traffic. Your customers are feeling the holiday shopping stress and will likely be impatient with your employees or wait times. Get ahead of the frustrations during your staff meetings, because the best approach is to be honest and upfront about what employees can expect during this time.

Tip: If you are struggling with staffing shortages, be upfront with the customers and ask for patience if wait times are longer than you would like. Also, give credit to those employees that are still working hard for you during this holiday season!

Review customer service practices to follow when something happens or a customer gets heated. This is a good time to think about holiday-specific problems that arise and how to combat them. Use prior years’ experience to train on actual problems that occurred in previous years. While this time of year brings extra stress, remind your employees they are truly making a difference and a positive attitude is one of the greatest sales tactics out there. Customers will always remember a positive experience and share that with their friends, family or social channels.

Get festive!

It’s up to you to set the tone for your team! Everyone can talk the talk, but it takes a true leader to walk the walk. The last thing you want from your team is burn out, so get enough rest and don’t overlook self-care so you can bring a positive attitude to work.

Bring your location to life my decorating the store. Our surroundings have a big impact on our mood and attitude, so ensure your retail location looks festive. You know, decorating for the holidays really does increase joy!

Show your appreciation

According to a study done by Forbes, 79% of people who quit their jobs do so because they don’t feel appreciated. The last thing you want to be dealing with is having to replace people during the holiday rush. It’s easy to overlook the good actions of your employees and focus on what needs to improve, but don’t be a Scrooge! Make sure you acknowledge employees who make a difference and take good care of your customers.

Recognize the employees going above and beyond and praise them during team meetings. Create a culture where encouragement and compliments are welcomed. Show your appreciation with small gestures, such as food, holiday treats, or small gifts. When your team is happy, your customers will notice and feel that happiness.

Respect your employees’ time

According to the New York Post, 1 and 3 Americans feel burn out during the holiday season. You may be busy, but you have to remember your employees are too. Make sure you establish a work life balance and give your employees the time for family obligations or even holiday errands they need to run. Remember, employees are people; do what you can to make their holidays great. They’ll pay it back to you by being refreshed and ready to perform above standards at work.

Plan a post-holiday celebration

When the holiday rush is over, reward your team with a celebration for their hard work and dedication! Lunches, dinners, or team outings are great ways to show your employees you appreciate all their hard work. Spread the word during the holiday season so they have something to look forward to and keep a positive attitude! Take January to recover and regroup after all the long hours and stress.

Remember, employee morale can very easily take a hit during holiday season. Taking steps to counter pitfalls can help keep your employees cheerful and encouraged. If you play a part in the holiday spirit you can take advantage of a team-building experience that will benefit you into the next calendar year!