Have you ever wondered what to do with the days, weeks, or even months of downtime after the holidays. Here are some service industry specific management tips.
The aftermath: It’s been two weeks since the holidays and you and your staff are still recovering from the chaos and, probably, the big year-end bash.
You and your staff are just going through the motions, hoping to make it to spring, when business will pick up.
Understandably, everyone is tired. But instead of taking your foot off of the gas pedal, why not use all of this downtime to your advantage? Most likely, your budget is already planned out, so why not turn towards other things you constantly put off during the hustle and bustle of last year?
Some of these may already be on your to-do list, but for those of you who need it, here’s a quick list of suggestions we think will help you get ready for the new year.
Let’s just go ahead and knock this one out early, which is probably what you should have done in the first place. But seriously, how many times did you walk by that dusty windowsill or dirty flowerbed outside of your dusty window?
Now’s a great time to get that cleaning wishlist out and get it done. Now is also a great time to redo your cleaning checklist and any others you may have so they’re more appropriate to your business. ABC – Always Be Cleaning, especially since you know the health inspector could pop in at any moment.
Another tough one to deal with in reality, but this is a great time of year to get these done if it isn’t already on your agenda.
Chances are you’ve worked long hours over the holidays with your employees so you were able to see first-hand what their strengths and weaknesses are. The best advice we can give is to constantly communicate with your employees so that they are not surprised come evaluations, but that may not always be possible.
While the mood in your business is relaxed, now’s a great time to sit down with your employees and let them know what they’re doing great at, and where their opportunities may be. If you have trouble tackling this tough task, here is some great advice for you.
Set new goals
This goes hand in hand with evaluations. While you have some time, sit with your employees and set some S.M.A.R.T. (Specific Measurable Achievable Results-focused Time-bound) goals for them for the upcoming year.
The same goes for you. Now is a great time to set some business or personal goals for the new year.
Retrain yourself and employees
Once again, this may go hand in hand with the evaluations. During the holidays chances are you spotted employees not following, or simply ignoring, procedures. When questioned about this, it’s natural to give the excuse of skirting procedure because of the rush. It’s up to you to remind your employees that the service is in the details, not the speed.
This is a great time to show employees the right way to do things and to explain why things should be done according to the training.
Get back in touch with the surrounding community
Your community members were probably in and out of your business during the holidays. Now’s a great time to get back out there and reciprocate, thank them, or say hello and re-acquaint yourself with your community members. Take them a present to help them remember you or pose the idea of striking a mutually beneficial partnership over the year to come.
This is an excellent grass-roots marketing opportunity.
Bond with employees and other departments
Many managers fail to take this service industry management tip seriously, but post-holiday downtime is excellent for getting to know your staff.
Employees like to feel appreciated and respected. This slow time of year is a great time to encourage them to get to know each other, and for you to get to know them. Why not have an “After the Holidays” party to show your appreciation or do something that brings your staff together to show they are all a team and the business doesn’t work unless they work as one?
Getting to know something about your employees on a personal level and showing that you genuinely understand and care about their situation outside of work is a great way to inspire loyalty and to motivate employees to go the extra mile when you need them to.
And always make sure you reciprocate; show you have a life outside of the business, too.
If there’s something you do with your post-holiday time that may be useful to others we’d love to hear about it. Please share with your management staff or peers in the business.