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Managing through the holidays

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The recession in the US means that some families in the Caribbean will receive less money for Christmas and so the stores may see lightertraffic in the aisles. However, supervisors and managers must still prepare for those who will shop. Whether you are a seasonal supervisoror a year round manager the business success of the season depends greatly on your ability to avoid a few common pitfalls People will be tighter with their wallets and may not tolerate bad service especially if they have a choice so prepare your employees to handle the customers..{{more}}

Choose seasonal workers carefully

Everyone with a resume and a nice suit is not a good worker. If hiring for a customer service position with heavy customer interaction, choose experienced personnel or candidates who are enthusiastic and really ready to learn quickly.

Coordinate schedules

Minimize schedule conflicts by making sure everyone understands their holiday hours and always have one a few back up personnel available in the event you are short staffed for a shift.

Conduct training

Invest the time upfront to have quick informal training sessions so new workers understand the procedures and become familiar with their position to avoid costly mistakes.

Do not blow your top

This may be difficult but try to avoid yelling, insulting or public displaying your anger when dealing with workers and especially customers.

Be a motivator

Hold quick 5-10 minutes meetings (depending on the size of staff) to motivate and get them energize. Employees really want someone who believes in their abilities and can positively move them to produce exceptional work, especially in high-pressured situation like the holidays. Give compliments throughout the day.

Lead by example

If you want your employees to smile and be courteous with customers then as the manager you need to smile and be courteous with your employees first. Your employees should be your #1 customers.

Give clear concise directions

Errors often occur when employees are unsure of the request being made. Encourage them to ask questions if they are not clear.

Focus on the solution not the problem Errors will occur when everyone is rushed. This is not the time to play the blame game. Address the problem, and then find the solution quickly.


Your frontline staff really is the genius in your organization.

Listen to opinions; take seriously suggestions to improve workflow and processes.

Sir John Harvey- Jones puts it best, “It is the responsibility of the leadership and the management to give opportunities and put demands on people, which enable them to grow as human being in the work environment. “ This applies especially during the holiday season.

Karen Hinds President/CEO –
Workplace Success Group,

Toll Free: 1-877-902-2775;
Tel: 1-203-757-4103
A CT Winner of the Make Mine a Million Dollar Business award!
[email protected]
Creator of The Workplace Success Program (TM)