How to prepare your team for holiday madness
’Tis the season! While the holidays are a fun and festive time of year, they can be extremely stressful for those in the hospitality industry—in other words, the people making the magic happen for everyone else.
To prepare your team make sure that your team’s morale stays high during this period, try these five techniques.
1. Conduct Advance Training
Even the most seasoned employees can be overwhelmed by the holiday madness, which means it’s essential to have plenty of training sessions for your team members.
During these sessions, focus on the holiday-specific situations that can crop up and how you expect the staff to deal with them. You should also review basic best practices and discuss what to do in emergencies.
Having set expectations will greatly improve employee performance. Plus, it’ll make your team members feel more confident when the crowds come.
2. Recognize Your Team Members
The last thing you want during this time? Having your employees feel overworked and under-appreciated. As their responsibilities ramp up, make sure that you’re recognizing their efforts and rewarding them.
We suggest giving weekly prizes to those who have gone above and beyond, having a staff holiday party, giving end-of-the-year bonuses (if that’s allowed within your organization), and making the office feel cheery with holiday decorations.
The cheapest way to recognize your employees is also one of the most effective: Thank them. A simple, “Thank you, I really appreciate all that you do,” goes a long way.
3. Schedule Carefully
If you don’t pay attention to whom you’re scheduling and when, you’ll end up with some very unhappy employees.
Schedule as far in advance as you can, which will help your employees make their holiday plans. And don’t schedule anyone arbitrarily—use a system (such as seniority) to decide who gets the popular days off.
4. Create Emergency Procedures
Hopefully, the holiday season will come and go without any emergencies. But seasoned leaders know there’s no harm in being prepared; on the contrary, having methods in place to deal with crises makes everyone feel more capable.
You can either develop these procedures with your leadership or have a town hall meeting and invite your entire team to participate. We like the second approach because it will show your employees that you value their ideas and contributions.
5. Set Goals
You want your team to work as single unit, which means you’ll need to set some goals. These goals could be customer-centric (i.e., “Achieve a 95% satisfaction rate) or company-centric (such as, “Make sure no one has to cover the front desk alone.”)
Having a shared definition of success will keep your employees motivated, engaged, and focused on the right things.