With Christmas fast approaching, as fantastic as it can be in general, it can cause a lot of headaches for small business owners.
Trying to ensure a full service is delivered up to and right through the festive season, while simultaneously aiming to not become a modern day Scrooge, when you’ve got limited resources but so much to think of, it can seem like you’ve either got to do one or the other – and unfortunately, the happiness of your employees can take a hit.
But it really doesn’t have to be this way, if you keep one thing in mind at all times – flexibility.
Your small business’s employees don’t expect to be given the full month of December off, but what would make for an almost instant increase in satisfaction levels would be if you we’re able to be flexible in as many ways as you possibly could.
For example, arranging annual leave over the Christmas season is always difficult, especially if you need to be delivering an almost continuous service.
While you obviously can’t agree to everyone being off, what you could do is work on a skeleton staff system. Essentially just meaning that the basics are always covered, you can drastically reduce how many people are required to fulfil a role.
For instance, if you’re a B2B small business and you’ve got two sales people who take control of all incoming sales leads and make regular outbound calls, it’s highly unlikely that between 24th December and 1st January, many outbound sales calls are going to be made. Likewise, chances are you won’t see a considerable number of incoming sales leads.
Therefore, rather than having both of these sales people at work, you could most probably have them alternate their working days over Christmas, meaning there’ll always be someone in the office to follow up on any leads, but it gives them both the opportunity to spend time with their friends and family.
When we’re looking at the run up to Christmas, one thing that can have a fantastically positive impact on how much enjoyment your small business’s employees are getting out of the season as a whole is to be flexible with lunch times and finishing times.
Most people would love a bit of extra time on their lunch to do some Christmas shopping, so is it really going to impact negatively on your small business if you gave every employee an extra half hour for their lunch once or twice during December?
Chances are the answer is going to be no. However, would it make your employees a lot more satisfied? Without a doubt.
It’s the same with finishing times. If your working day ends at 5.00pm on a Friday, bringing that forward to 4.30pm might make next to no difference to the service you’re offering, but it really would impact positively on your employees.
Everyone wants to spend as much time as possible with their friends and family at Christmas. While you’re under no obligation to provide it, a bit of flexibility can go a long way to satisfying your employees. Remember, when you have happy employees, you have employees who want to work – and these are the best types of employees!