Tips for Keeping your Team from Losing Steam this Holiday Season

by / Monday, 01 December 2014 / Published in Productive Business Tips

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The holiday season is one that can be bittersweet for small business owners. While it represents one of the best times of year for sales, and can be the difference between make or break to a business owner’s bottom line, there is no debating whether or not all that pressure can add up to some major stress, not only on business owners themselves but on their staff as well. While it’s not a time to turn back the dial unless you are truly trying to do way too much, in which case hiring some temporary workers might be in order, that’s not to say that you should ignore the signs of stress you and your employees are feeling and push ahead without making an effort to manage it.

Start the day with a reminder of your goals as a team. While every staff member is working on getting what needs to get done taken care of, people’s moods can start to rise and create the fuel for a major confrontation between employees when wires get crossed, which can take a fair amount of time to mediate after the fact should things get out of hand. At the beginning of the day, reminding your employees how many days are left in the holiday shopping season and reinforcing the mutual accountability required to achieve great results.

Empower employees with tangible rewards for performance. One tip from a Mashable article on controlling holiday burnout suggests adopting “spot bonuses” during the holiday season, allowing you or your employees to provide on the spot rewards in recognition of exceptional work. You can either dish out these extra incentive builders yourself, or allow your employees to reward each other via a peer-to-peer bonus structure. Rewards don’t always have to be monetary, as days-off, special prizes or other positives can work just as well in the right environment.

Provide a framework for taking sanity breaks.  When an employee has been working at a sustained high pitch for too long, their ability to perform their tasks with the attention that they might require can suffer. Even a break as short as a few minutes can help you regain your focus, especially when working on a repetitive task. It’s not alright for employees to go AWOL in the middle of your busiest times of the year, but at the same time leaving etiquette around break taking unclear is a recipe for misunderstandings and frustration. Think along with your managers to create a system for taking breaks that allows your employees to be productive but step out when they need to recharge.

Photo Credit to Mike Kniec on Flickr

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