Black Friday is notoriously the busiest time for the retail sector. With businesses slashing prices, it’s a no-brainer why so many people take advantage of the sales and hit the high street. What people might not think about, however, is the strain this can have on the people putting in extra hours to make Black Friday run smoothly.
John Johnston, head of e-commerce at Workwear Express has outlined practical tips on how businesses can ensure their employees’ well-being is protected during Black Friday.
- Be consistent with shift scheduling
Often people’s social calendars become extremely busy at this time of year, with Christmas parties and visiting family. Unfortunately, it also happens to be extremely busy for shops and delivery services because of the festivities. This can sometimes clash with employees asking for shifts off when they are needed most.
The best way to manage expectations and ensure no employees become disgruntled is to schedule shifts with considerable notice. By doing this, you can be assured each shift has enough staff working and keep employee turnover low, as they will be granted the time off when requested.
- Praise your employees for their effort
Throughout Black Friday and Christmas shifts, staff will be putting maximum effort in to meet the demands of the role, as work becomes busier. It’s important as a business that this hard work doesn’t go unnoticed.
Giving employees regular recognition can boost morale and make their work feel valued by the company. It also decreases the chances of employee burnout. If staff feel like an asset to the business, they are more likely to be motivated and this can be extremely beneficial throughout the holiday season.
- Offer support and foster a safe work environment
Customers can take a toll on employees throughout the rush of the holiday season. Similarly, co-workers can also do the same. Because of this, it is important to reinforce a zero-tolerance policy for misdemeanours and any negative behaviour towards staff. This will ensure employees feel safe in the workplace and allow them to report inappropriate incidents. It will enable employees to feel comfortable confiding in you if any problems do occur.
- Prioritise sufficient time for breaks
Regular breaks should be encouraged for employees’ mental and physical well-being. The holiday period can be extremely busy, and this can take a toll on your staff if they aren’t able to have an appropriate amount of breaks during a shift. It can also harm productivity. By scheduling breaks, employees can recharge, refocus, and stay motivated throughout their shifts
- Organise a holiday social gathering
It is a lovely way to round off the year and celebrate all the hard work that has been put in over Black Friday and the festive season. Nurturing relationships within the workplace can be beneficial for businesses, as employees feel more connected to the company and can make the day-to-day work environment more enjoyable.
- Appropriate clothing
Employees may need to wear more breathable clothing if their working environment can get warm, especially for those working in retail over the Black Friday period. Appropriate footwear should also be considered when the job requires staff to be on their feet for long periods.
If employees are comfortable in their attire, they are more likely to be productive and engaged in their work, without any discomfort. It can also decrease the risk of them getting hurt or flustered over the holiday season.
- Promote a work-life balance
Employees will have other priorities aside from the business. Especially throughout the holidays, staff will need sufficient time to rest and take time for personal obligations. If you eat into employee downtime, they are not likely to feel motivated and passionate about work.
- Make sure staff are up to date with health & safety procedures
As this time can become hectic for businesses, staff should be reminded of the correct health and safety procedures in case any incidents occur. Employees need to understand how to react to any workplace accidents accordingly, to protect co-workers and any visitors/customers that come into contact with the business.
Joanne is the editor for Workplace Wellbeing Professional and has a keen interest in promoting the safety and wellbeing of the global workforce. After earning a bachelor's degree in English literature and media studies, she taught English in China and Vietnam for two years. Before joining Work Well Pro, Joanne worked as a marketing coordinator for luxury property, where her responsibilities included blog writing, photography, and video creation.