The holiday season is particularly busy, but that doesn’t mean that your store needs to come to a standstill. Follow these tips to be prepared for anything that comes your way.
Refresh Employee Training
Holiday business isn’t just higher in volume; it’s also higher in priority. Mistakes can be costly, so make sure that your employees are on the ball. Hold a meeting to refresh training and confirm operational standards. Even your most experienced staff members should re-read training manuals and review the most important procedures.
If you’ve hired new staff to help with the rush, remember that they’ll need extra help getting up to speed. Try having each trainee shadow an experienced staff member both in training and during the actual workday. Encourage the trainees to ask questions; their fresh perspectives may be valuable to your current employees.
Update Your Equipment
A malfunction in the middle of the busy season can be extremely expensive. Before the first rush of customers comes in, perform a preventative maintenance inspection on your most vital pieces of equipment. This might include computers, printers, power tools, or anything else that your store uses on a consistent basis.
Give particular attention to power generators and other electrical equipment, as these parts can stop your entire store from functioning. A hermetic vacuum feedthrough supplier can help make sure that everything is running in top condition.
Implement a Holiday Schedule
Employee fatigue is one of the biggest downfalls of the holiday season. There’s a good chance that your most experienced staff members will be asked to work overtime or to handle busy shifts with a skeleton crew.
To combat this problem, start the season off with a well-planned holiday schedule. Check to see how many hours each person is working, and make sure that everyone is given adequate time to celebrate the season. Schedule extra staff members for your busiest days and times; if someone calls in sick, you don’t want to be left short-handed. Finally, don’t forget to schedule lunch breaks—everyone needs a chance to get away from the crowds.
Check Your Security System
An influx of customers means an influx of problems. Whether you’re worried about loss prevention or employee safety, you should confirm that your security system is working correctly before the first rush starts. Make sure that the doors lock correctly, and implement a test run for your electronic alarm. You should also get into the habit of reviewing security camera footage on a regular basis; in addition to preventing losses, you’ll also gain valuable insight into customer shopping habits.
When it comes to the holiday season, preventative maintenance is the name of the game. Train your employees, check on your equipment, and get ready to enjoy the happiest and busiest time of the year.
Lizzie Weakley is a freelance writer from Columbus, Ohio. In her free time, she enjoys the outdoors and walks in the park with her husky, Snowball. You can find her and her writing on Twitter @LizzieWeakley.