Practice stress management techniques, be proactive and stay thankful to help manage this busy holiday season.

With the turning of the calendar, the holidays are in full swing! While this time of year can be magical, it can also be overwhelming to you and your staff. But with so many new guests visiting your business for the first time this season, you can’t afford service hiccups caused by a stressed-out team. Read on for five tips to help you keep your team, happy, engaged, and ready to wow this holiday season.

No. 1: Show your appreciation.

Your team is working hard this season (like every day), so be sure that you’re taking time to show your appreciation. Bring in treats, fill staff stockings, get together for a team outing, and simply make it a point to thank them for their hard work every day. Remember that the happier they are, the more likely that they’ll spread that holiday

An attitude of gratitude goes a long way to making us feel great about the work we’re doing, so start each day thinking about what you’re grateful for. For example, while a phone ringing non-stop can feel like a constant interruption, remember that every time it does, you have an opportunity to make a difference in your community, introduce new people to your park or FEC, and grow your revenue. All things to be thankful for!

No: 2: Keep an eye on your own stress levels.

Nothing erodes staff morale more than a manager whose stress gets out of control. Check-in with your emotions and stress levels to make sure you’re not letting them hinder your ability to manage positively and productively. A gratitude practice, prayer, meditation, time outside, physical exercise, and breathing techniques can help keep things in perspective so you can be the best leader possible.

Pay special attention to how others are reacting to you and watch for tension, stress, anger, or even discomfort. Those emotions can be indicators that it’s time to check your management behaviors.

No. 3: Be proactive.

Make sure that you’re not spreading team members too thin so that you’re prepared for increased traffic everywhere. Does it make sense to hire seasonal help? Potential guests will call your facility at times when it’s inconvenient for you, so have an online process that will help them easily get information, inquire about a party, or book an off-the-shelf group event package. But understand that someone in your facility must also be able to book a group event should a potential guest call in. Whether it’s a seasoned sales pro or an operations manager, make sure you have an event-savvy team member on whenever your facility is open.

One way to do that is to set up a table near the front of the facility during your busiest times with information about the different group events and birthday parties you offer. Perhaps use the prize wheel that you take to community events and do giveaways when people sign up for your newsletter or ask guests to enter a drawing to win an event, birthday party, or another exciting item. You’ll get a whole new list of leads to begin prospecting when the dust settles.

It’s easy to fall into the habit of building systems and processes thinking of what’s in our best interest rather than what’s best for our guests. During this busy time of year, it’s essential to staff the inbound sales office to take those late and last-minute bookings that can make the difference between an average sales season and a stellar one. Enlist operations managers and seasoned team members to fill in where necessary so that your facility is set up to win.

No. 4: Prepare a warm welcome.

You’re going to have a lot of people entering your facility for the first time, so do your best to wow them. Help staff keep an attitude of gratitude, as well, and see the difference their roles are making every day. It might make sense to position staff as a welcoming committee at the front of the building, helping to welcome guests, direct traffic, and thank them for coming. Be sure that you give them clear instructions on what to do so they’re adding value rather than standing around aimlessly.

It’s also a great idea to check those line management and front desk processes again. Do you need a separate area where guests can buy stocking stuffer gift cards or season passes? Is it clear in your signage at admissions and throughout your park that you offer them? Make sure guests see the right message when they enter your facility, so once you get them in the door, you can continue to wow them with amazing service.

No. 5: Give your staff something to look forward to.

Besides the daily appreciation you’re showing staff, take it a step further and give them something to look forward to. An upcoming event that you’re excited about can help you maintain a positive attitude. This is why positive psychologists recommend always having a vacation on the calendar to dream about.

Consider giving your team something to look forward to at the end of the season. Recently, Tabatha Porter, general manager of Adventure Quest Laser Tag mentioned that over Thanksgiving, she purposefully scheduled key staff several days off together for Thanksgiving as an added thank you. That was a thoughtful gesture that took a little extra planning but had the potential to make a big difference for those leaders. A team party, a holiday bonus, and additional time off can be extremely motivating, helping your team push through the busiest days.

You have a lot going on in the weeks to come. How are you planning to help staff stay sane and season-ready all month long?

Leave a Comment