Elf Training 101: Prep Your Holiday Team

Be it two or twenty, your team is at the heart of your operations. They need to be aligned and energized during the holiday rush in order to keep things afloat. Keeping your ‘elves’ on track and happy during the rush is key. Don’t get stressed out trying to manage all of the moving parts of how to do this. We have tips to make training, motivating, and hiring a breeze.

How to motivate and keep your team happy
  • Communicate like a pro: Get this on lock with communication and project management tools such as, Slack, Trello, Workboard, and Basecamp.
  • Empower your team: Figure out what gets your team hyped and use that to empower them. A great example is with a team who likes to reach milestones, set rewards for when specific sales goals are reached.
  • Own it!: Does one of your team members do really well at inventory audits and tracking? Have them be the owner of this area. Another person can own POS knowledge and troubleshooting. Give each team member their own piece of the business operations to own and encourage them to educate others.
  • Go retro: No, don’t actually go retro. However, have weekly meetings where you look back at issues and processes and encourage your team to create solutions to roadblocks.
  • Stay on schedule: Make sure your team communicates their availability, and when you create the schedule, stick to it. This will not only help you keep track of working hours, but also set a clear expectation of floor coverage.
  • Remember the individuals: Your team is made up individuals. Make sure to set aside time to talk with each individual one-on-one on a regular cadence. Yes, even during the holiday rush. This is one of the most important pieces to keeping your team happy; by listening to their concerns and opinions.
Making this year’s seasonal hires the best yet
  • Look for the right people and do it early: Hire employees with traits such as, schedule flexibility and fast learning. Starting the process early will allow you to get the pick of the litter and bring people on your team who fit your culture and expectations.
  • Don’t skimp out on training: It can be easy to get wrapped up in everything you need to get done and avoid training new employees. Take the time to invest in training.
  • Manage as usual: Just because they are seasonal hires, doesn’t mean they lose the opportunity to help you later down the road. Manage all your employees with great attention and leadership.
The customer is the priority
  • Comprehensive training: Once you’re armed and ready with your seasonal team, make sure they are completely ready and prepared to deal with all types of customers - happy to irreversibly frustrated. This can be accomplished by a comprehensive customer service training - consider role-playing as an effective form of training.
  • Prepare for the worst: For that latter type of customer, make sure you have a contingency plan in place in the form of a customer service crisis communication plan for when employees must respond quickly to issues. Be sure to clearly explain how to handle that situation (examples include, when to offer store credit, refunds, etc.)

Alright, you are ready to empower your team, find the best seasonal hires possible, and prep for a whole spectrum of customers this season. What is your #1 go-to for getting your team ready for the holidays? Let us know on Twitter with #StitchHoliday!

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