Tips for Boosting Employee Morale Through the Busy Season
The holiday season is known to be the busiest of the entire year. No matter what type of industry you're in. Folks are doing more shopping, needing more services done. And overall, they seem to get used to spending more money. Whether that's a tax ploy or a state of mind when as it's time to give has yet to be seen. Either way, however, there's no denying that winter is likely to be one of the busiest – if not the busiest – shopping times of the entire year.
This added traffic can mean higher profits, also making it the favorite time of year for many business owners. But that also requires more working hours. The longest days, the most employees per shift, and likely, the highest number of hours for each worker. Many will be excited about the bigger paychecks. Others will need a little more motivation in order to get them through the long shifts. Though it's good to keep workers on both side of that spectrum happy all winter long.
Keep employees motivated by:
Offering sales or hours incentives. To anyone who works an especially long shift or puts in X number of hours each week, or who hits a certain goal – show them thanks with a perk. Create levels that are holiday themed, each of which comes with a specialized bonus. With the biggest accomplishments getting the biggest prizes. You can even make it a competition by keeping an updated chart in the break room. Write names to allow for friendly debates, or let each employee be a secret color or character to keep it all under wraps.
Another option is to simply give holiday bonuses or gifts outright. This counts as a business write-off, as well as a surefire way to boost morale. Gift a static gift or amount, or base each worker's incentive on how long they've worked there, or by how big of an asset to the business. (Though that fact does not have to be communicated to all.)
There are also ways to increase morale without increasing spending. Make holiday shifts more fun by allowing themed clothing. Host events on each day in December, similar to a school's spirit week. Ideas include a holiday Halloween day, wearing red and green, ugly sweaters, eight days of a certain event, a showing of gifting spirit, and so on. You can give out awards for those who give the most effort – even if that "award" is simply a certificate.
Ask employees to get involved with giving back to the community. Host a store toy drive or ask for gently used clothing to be donated at the end of the month. This helps motivate workers by showing just how much others are willing to share throughout the month of December. However, it's also a tactic that can be implemented at any time. Simply adjust what's collected to create an appropriate theme for the time of year.
Finally, it's time to offer some time off. Whether or not it's paid is up to your company policy. But either way, time with friends and family is an incredible way to spread morale. Be sure and let employees know well in advance what time/days you'll be closed so they have plenty of time to plan ahead. You can schedule these days based on slow shifts from years before. Do you generally have business on Christmas or the day after? New Years? Look at what calendar days each holiday falls on, and compare with years past to see whether it's a day of high profits, or you'd be better off letting your workers rest.
Whether you're looking to one or all of the above, they can serve as a great way to brighten workers' spirits. Especially when they're running ragged. Remember how much little changes can help in a time of giving. As well as how much they can pay off in the end.