It’s the most wonderful time of the year, and for the hospitality industry, it can also be the most lucrative. But managers and employees alike are working more hours and longer shifts to keep everything on track, and it can get a little crazy. Getting along well as a team is the key to staying sane. Working hard beside people you enjoy can be a lot of fun, and you can help one another through the busy season. Remember this time of year more than ever, recognizing employees for a job well done goes a long way for morale.
Here are some creative tips for keeping hospitality employees happy this season.
Be festive behind the scenes
Feed your crew. Some employees say food at the office makes them feel more appreciated and reduces stress. Consider covering the cost of a meal or meals on your team’s busiest days. Some business owners have found that compensating employees for a future meal boosts morale, too. Here are some other ideas:
- Draw names for a Secret Santa or White Elephant gift exchange.
- Meetings on the move — pick a new spot or take a walk while you talk. A change in pace can be refreshing.
- Bonus on the spot? Recognize and reward employees right away and create a system that allows employees to recognize one another, too.
- Help your employees achieve balance. There certainly isn’t room for much time off around the holidays, but if possible, give them a few days off before or after the rush.
Involve your customers in your holiday spirit
- Encourage your employees to wear fun accessories (think Santa hats, Rudolph antlers or jingle bells on their shoes).
- When greeting customers, ask them something holiday-related. “Do you know Dasher or Dancer?” That’s sure to get a chuckle.
- Offer your customers a discount! Often, clients are strapped for cash around the holidays. Even 10% off goes a long way.
Have some friendly competition
You can do this one while using sales goals already in place. Divide your employees into teams. Those who sell the most products during a set time frame receive a prize or bonus. This can also be an exercise in teaching employees to work together. Here are some other ideas for some friendly competition behind the scenes:
- Monitor customer feedback and recognize the employee who receives the most positive responses.
- Offer a best-dressed award, maybe with a holiday twist.
- Have your employees enter a raffle for a holiday meal from a local grocery store. The more sales, the more tickets an employee can drop in the raffle ticket bucket. The rewards don’t always have to be monetary.
Employees certainly appreciate the extra cash, but being recognized among their co-workers also goes a long way. Time off during non-peak times can also be a great giveaway. With communication, and a little bit of fun, you and your team can conquer anything. Choose collaboration over chaos to stay sane during the crazy holiday months.