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Don’t wait until the holidays hit to make staffing and operations plans. Starting a month or two in advance, learn your employees’ holiday plans so you can schedule shifts accordingly. Cross-train employees in all tasks so anyone can pitch in at a moment’s notice. Communicate your expectations about holiday roles and time off several times throughout the season to ensure everyone is on the same page.
If the holiday rush takes your business from 0 to 60 overnight, you might need to call in reinforcements. Staffing agencies can be a big help in this area. Just don’t leave hiring to the last minute—remember, staffing agencies have holiday rushes too. You should also allow time for getting temporary employees up and running. After the holidays, keep contact details for top temps on file so you can reach out to them next year.
When you streamline daily tasks, you can uncover hidden pockets of time you didn’t know you had. Take cleaning, for example. If you’re still cleaning floors with a mop and bucket, you could do the job 63 percent faster with an auto scrubber like Tennant’s T350. Already using a mechanical mop? You could remove floor finish three to five times faster if your machine had orbital scrubbing technology. Bonus: a clean workplace can increase employee productivity through lower rates of sickness, greater motivation and reduced stress.
You can complete many important tasks long before the holiday season starts. For example, you can stock up on supplies in advance—printer ink, business cards and product packaging are all helpful to have on hand during rush periods. You can also schedule maintenance and upgrades for key equipment like cash registers or cleaning devices. Already have a service plan in place? Contact your account manager or customer service rep to get their insight into how to best prepare for the busy months ahead.
The holiday season isn’t all about rushing. Many businesses also have slow days, particularly in the week between Christmas and New Year’s Eve. Use these quiet periods to tackle lower-priority tasks like filing or database cleanup. Lulls are also a great time for creative, “blue sky” work like brainstorming new marketing initiatives or product lines.
Employee engagement is not just great for office morale—it also improves overall business function. According to Gallup’s 2017 State of the American Workplace report, highly engaged businesses have a 41% reduction in absenteeism and a 17% increase in productivity. One effective way to boost engagement costs nothing: ask for employee feedback. Your employees often know better than anyone what would make them happier and more productive.
It’s all too easy to fall into the mindset that you should spend every waking moment working on your business. Holiday chaos can make this rushed, busy feeling even worse. But while it might seem counterintuitive, making time to relax and destress can actually improve productivity. So take a day (or even a week!) to recharge. Your business—and your sanity—will benefit in the long run.
Tennant has numerous tools and services to keep your retail space humming this holiday season. To learn more, and to receive our free Definitive Guide to Retail Shine, visit our Retail Solutions page.