Busy periods – every business has them! Whether it’s due to a seasonal rush or an industry trend, every company will experience its peak times. Yet, keeping your workforce motivated can feel like hard work. So, to help you out, we’ve put together a guide of six simple steps you can follow to help keep your team happy and driven during these busy periods.
Offer additional training
Before you hit peak times, it can be helpful to invest in some additional training for your staff. This can help them to better handle their increased workload, but it also proves to them that you’re invested in their career. This training can take place during work hours or in their own time, there are a huge range of options available to today’s workforce. For example, providers like NCC Home Learning allow professionals to bolster their skills and qualifications, by making these courses fit easily around their lifestyle.
Create team spirit
The best way to boost morale and prepare your workforce for the busier periods, is by always being transparent with them. Don’t try to sugar coat it; explain that you know it will be tough but set goals that will motivate them and praise them for their extra efforts. If you make sure they’re aware these busier periods are coming, they can prepare themselves for the rush. This will help to create a positive environment where you’re all ‘in it together’. Working towards a common goal can really help to boost team spirit and keep everyone motivated.
Reward their hard work
As workloads increase and overtime takes its toll, it’s vital that you are incentivising and rewarding your staff. Set targets that reflect the busier periods, but ensure you are offering rewards to match. Whether this is working on commission, bonuses, workplace perks or an employee of the month award – find the scheme that works best for your business and shows your staff that you appreciate their hard work.
Delegate effectively and monitor workloads
Preparing for the peak times will ensure things continue to run smoothly, despite the increasing demand on your workforce. Be sure that you delegate tasks fairly so everyone is pulling their weight, and no one has been left with an unrealistic workload. It’s also important that you monitor this throughout to make sure no one is becoming overwhelmed.
If you notice certain employees are being given too many tasks to complete, or seem to be picking up all the overtime, it could be time to step in. After all, you don’t want them becoming stressed, fatigued and facing burn out. Instead, delegate to other members of the team to help relieve some of the pressure.
Help them unwind and encourage balance
You will be expecting staff to work harder during busy periods, so you must ensure that you still encourage work-life balance and help them to unwind at the end of the day. There are a number of ways you can do this. Firstly, make sure no one is doing too much overtime. It’s not good for your mental or physical health to be starting early and finishing work late every day.
Secondly, encourage them to switch off when they leave the office. This means not taking work calls or checking their emails outside of office hours. They need time to relax and recharge before returning to work the next day. You must also make sure they have proper breaks throughout the day, most importantly make sure that they’re taking their lunch break. If you can persuade them to get out of the office for a bit, even better!
Finally, create an environment where healthy lifestyles are encouraged and praised. You can do this by offering healthy refreshments such as fruit, for free. You can also arrange staff discounts for local gyms or activity centres. Exercise is a great way for your employees to de-stress and unwind after work. These steps will make a huge difference to ensuring that your workforce are happy, healthy and working at maximum productivity during the busier periods.
Make sure you have plenty of staff
Last but not least, make sure you’ve got enough staff on hand! You don’t want your existing workforce to be totally stretched, so it can sometimes be helpful to take on temporary staff, particularly during these busy times. It’s understandable that businesses want to keep their outgoings to a minimum, but if you’re deliberately keeping the number of staff low, you risk your existing employees becoming overworked and unhappy.