When you are caught up in the madness of the Christmas rush, January feels like an awfully long way away. However, before you know it, the festive season will be behind us, and it’ll be the beginning of the new year. Traditionally, January is a quiet time on the customer front, but that’s no bad thing because it’s the perfect chance to get some crucial work done. If you want to make the most of early 2019, get to grips with these essential tasks – then you can make sure your team are ready to smash it when the pace picks up again.
Pause to reflect
The first important task is to review and reflect on how your team performed when the heat was on. Hopefully, there were no big disasters, but we’re willing to bet there will have been some small red flags that need to be addressed. Each issue is a learning opportunity, so you should take a moment to work out what went wrong and how to solve it. Sometimes it’s a staff problem, at other times it could be that part of your operation isn’t working in the way you’d expected. Either way, through training or reorganising the workflow, you can iron out these issues right away.
Say thank you
Your staff have likely gone over and above to make sure that your customers enjoyed the finest service over the festive season. Take time to talk to each person individually and thank them for their help. Delivering praise requires a small effort and reaps big rewards. Staff who feel noticed and appreciated will perform better and feel more engaged in their work. Often, it’s those little gestures that mean a lot and ensure that your workforce feels valued. Research tells us that many employees leave their manager, not their job, so be the kind of leader who takes care to look after their people and gives praise where it’s due.
Nobody knows how well your business performed on the ground as well as your workers. Make sure that in January, you take the time to have individual meetings or get groups together to gather feedback from them. In your role as manager, you’ll be concerned with overseeing everything, whereas your people will know the nitty-gritty of what happened in each area of the business. Not only is their feedback invaluable, but they may have some excellent suggestions on how to improve or fine tune things. Additionally, you may discover that some training and development is necessary to get staff up to scratch, and that’s much easier to arrange when the business is quieter and you can spare them.
Set goals for everyone
All businesses need to be future-focused and having long and short-term goals is vital. If you want to achieve your goals, you need to be clear on what they are and the steps you need to take to get there. Many of your ambitions will involve your team performance, so you need to get all your staff to buy into those goals. Set up clear channels of communication, help each person understand their role in meeting goals and what that will mean for their future. Feeling part of a collective movement towards success helps to engage employees and improve performance, boosting productivity and the atmosphere in your team. Never forget that a happy, productive workforce is a profitable one.
Encourage innovation and improvement
It’s easy to get so focused on the day-to-day workings of your business that you miss out on what’s happening in the wider industry. Thanks to technology and research, there are so many new products and initiatives out there that could help improve your business. Take the time to catch up on industry news, check out what your competitors are doing and find out if anything is going on that you need to be a part of. Innovation doesn’t need to be a scary, all-consuming thing. You can bring in changes over time and integrate new tech into your existing systems. Who knows, it may even save you a lot of time and money, helping you deliver an even better service to your customers.
If you’d like any help or advice in reviewing your department and staffing needs, please get in touch. We love helping our clients to get the best people to fit into their team, and we’re ready to get started at any time of the year that you need us!