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christmas retail survival guide
Latest News / Managing employees / Managing your business

The ultimate festive season survival guide for retailers

With less than one month to go until Christmas, the holiday season is well and truly in full swing. It’s traditionally a time for joy and celebration, spending time with loved ones, and embracing the festive spirit – but if you work in retail, the reality is that you and your team are probably starting to feel the pressure.

Between extended business hours, stressed-out customers and back-to-back shifts, it’s all too common to watch morale crumble as the holiday season wears on. Maintaining the festive cheer and keeping your team happy over the holidays is essential to your ongoing business success. It won’t just help keep your staff motivated to hit your lofty revenue targets – it will set them up for a positive and engaged year in 2020.

So, how to keep your team performing at their peak throughout the chaos of the festive season? Read on for our top tips.

Be kind and communicate

When things get busy, open and proactive communication with your team is a must. Chances are, they are looking forward to sharing their festive season with family and friends, so make sure you keep them in the loop with details like extended opening hours and shift changes well ahead of time so they can plan accordingly.

Try and be as fair as possible when it comes to allocating shifts – remember, your employees are only human! If someone is taking up the all slack when other team members call in sick, make sure you offer them some flexibility in return. The smallest things can make the biggest difference at this time of the year, and by showing your employees some kindness when things are a little hectic, you’ll be rewarded with their loyalty in the long term.

Encourage proper breaks

When your everyone in your team is working non-stop and putting in hours of overtime, it can be almost impossible for them to find a moment to take a toilet break, let alone eat a proper meal. It’s vital to encourage your team to take a proper rest and enjoy a few minutes of downtime, so they can maintain their energy levels throughout the day.

Offering a constant supply of healthy snacks will help keep their enthusiasm up when they’re burning the candle at both ends. You can take this idea one step further by surprising your team with catered meals a few times a week throughout the festive season. This shows you understand they pressure they are under and will help ensure they return to their work feeling refuelled and refreshed.

Automate your rostering

If you’re struggling to juggle the influx of inexperienced Christmas casuals with your regular staffers who don’t want to miss out on shifts, Roubler’s automated rostering feature can help you strike a balance. It’s easy to prioritise your experienced employees and ensure there’s always someone senior on each shift, and then fill the gaps with your casual staff according to their availability.

Best of all, you can keep your team in the know with the Roubler mobile app. This feature creates true employee engagement and gives them access to their roster from the palm of their hand. They can also swap shifts with their colleagues, request time off and update their details, all from the convenience of their smartphone.

Give back to the community

Today’s employees are more socially conscious than ever, and they want to know their work is contributing to the greater good. There’s no better way to boost morale than giving your team a sense of higher purpose, especially at a time of year when everyone is caught up in the drive to hit revenue targets.

Encouraging your team to share the festive cheer with those less fortunate will help them feel like all their hard work is worthwhile. There are so many ways to give back: consider donating a percentage or your total profits to charity, providing gifts for children who would otherwise go without, or even volunteering as a team at the local soup kitchen.

End the year on a high

The new year is a time for self-reflection, which is one of the reasons January can be a time of high staff turnover for businesses. Your team is probably thinking about what they did and didn’t achieve throughout the year, and the additional pressure to perform over the holiday season can be enough to make them start thinking about their options for the coming year.

If you’ve had a cracking year and are smashing your sales targets, make sure you celebrate this fact throughout the festive season. Even if you haven’t hit all your goals, you can still end the year on a high by acknowledging your team’s achievements and recognising individual contributions so everyone knows just how much they mean to your business.

Fleur Murphy
Fleur Murphy is a strategic thinker and marketing leader with a passion for all things SaaS. With her drive to build strong brands and genuine desire to create value for customers, Fleur has helped software companies across Australia, the USA, UK and Asia achieve tangible results from their marketing activities. At Roubler, Fleur focuses on strategies to help shift-based workforces get the most out of their business technology.
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