Keeping your restaurant staff motivated and engaged during the holiday season can be tough: the combination of extra busy shifts, the winter blues and missing out on the celebrations means energy levels often run low. This is often referred to as the “seasonal productivity dip”, where studies show that as much as 62% of employees feel a drop in productivity and motivation specifically during the year-end holiday season.
However, with the surge of diners and longer service hours to meet the demands of the festive season, it is essential for restaurant owners to keep motivation levels up. What can be done to tackle this year-end slump? Here are 4 suggestions:
Set clear expectations
It’s important that staff don’t feel overwhelmed during this season, as this will only do more harm to motivation levels. Start by setting clear schedules and tasks before the busy season begins – this way, you’ll not only prevent overbooked shifts and overtime, but you’ll also help them plan their holiday obligations without interfering with their work. Use an employee platform with task management to easily delegate to-dos and responsibilities, and talk to them about break time schedules during their shift.
Celebrate good performance
Make up for the fact that your staff are working over the holidays by boosting the praise given out for their hard work. Show your gratitude and recognise their efforts even during the busy holiday rush. You can use a digital commendation system and instantly broadcast your praise to the rest of the team. Better yet, consider making things more festive through friendly competition and hand out tangible prizes, such as a longer break or a gift voucher, for tasks done during the busiest hours of the day. By thanking them for their excellent performance, your staff will feel valued and will see how their contribution helped the team get through the busy period.
Share your vision
With the year coming to an end, it’s a great time to look at the future of your business. Motivate your team by sharing your plans for the coming year, set achievable goals and outline clear roles on how each individual will contribute to those goals. This can help boost motivation as staff look forward to the next challenge and all the excitement to come with the year ahead. As an employer, this is also a good time to get your staff’s feedback about how the previous year has gone. Use digital polls or surveys to hear from your workforce in a transparent way, where they can share their opinion openly and start discussions with their peers. In turn, you’ll wrap up the year successfully with a better vision of how to improve going forward.
At the end of the day, remember that the holiday season is all about celebration. While it may be the busiest time of the year, take time to properly connect and engage with your staff. Encourage team bonding events and share gifts. Maintaining a festive culture and strong friendships in the restaurant keeps the holiday spirit alive and makes working through this time of year less difficult.