Today is Cyber Monday! You’ve been hiring seasonal employees for the past couple of weeks, and it seems everything is going according to plan, well almost. Here are five things that are quickly forgotten but will pay huge dividends as December comes to an end:
- All hands on deck – Use labor to do anything that will make skilled employees more productive.
This time of year, your ultimate success is determined by one thing, ensuring all customers receive their orders before the holiday. Work not flowing for an extended time could lead to an unbearable disaster.
2. Have Fun – Incentives are great, but focus on the time associates have away from their packing stations (breaks, lunches, before/after work). Making the best of their downtime can make the next overtime shift a little easier.
Here are a few ideas:
- Have live entertainment during breaks/lunches
- Play Christmas movies during breaks/lunches
- Have a themed dress day (ugly sweater, Santa hats)
- Raffle off prizes each week for perfect attendance
- Have a local vendor provide a back massage to associates during their lunch/break time
3. It’s a marathon, not a sprint – Please remind your team that this time of year is about family. Remind them to eat right, get to bed early, and schedule other activities when it doesn’t interfere with taking care of themselves.
Fifteen years ago, I was a frontline manager preparing for peak season. I worked sixteen hours a day to ensure everything was perfect.
The week following Cyber Monday, I came down with something that was a mix between laryngitis and influenza. It was the worst time to be sick. I continued to go to work for three days when my Sr. Manager, Mike Swartz, forced me to go home. I remember Mike saying, “Anthony, it’s a marathon, not a sprint.”
Mike asked what I had been doing leading up to my illness. It became undeniable that I was not taking care of myself. I forgot the importance of eating and sleeping. I wanted to be the peak season hero, but I forgot that being the hero means you’re still around at the end of the movie.
4. Communication – Find a way to show your progress visually and make sure it’s updated daily.
Employees hear all the hype about peak season and are often kept in the dark when it finally arrives. During this four-five week span, it often becomes challenging to find ways to communicate your progress.
Example: A simple thermometer that’s filled in as you progress to your total units shipped, or maybe that mountain climber from the Price is Right.
5. Say Thank You – Have your leadership team stand at the exits/entrances between shift changes to shake hands and say, “thank you.” You can also say “thanks for being here” to those who are walking in.
Your team will be working a lot of overtime. Not to mention the countless number of personal activities they will potentially miss (kids ball games, Christmas play at church, school programs, family dinners). Overtime pay will not make up for lost time with their family. Now more than ever, your employees need to know they’re appreciated. It’s a simple gesture that will go a long way.