5 Small Business Employee Management Hacks for the Holidays

John Rigo

There’s a crisp chill in the air, hats, scarves and puffy jackets are emerging from their attic resting place, and with the start of December, there’s only one thing on everyone’s mind - the holidays! For many small business owners the chaos that comes along with the winter months is all too real. It can truly be the most wonderful stressful time of the year.

From prepping for the big family bash at the house, to scouring the world for that ultimate gift, even down to prettying up for the fancy company party - consumers go crazy trying to tie up any and all loose ends before the holidays.

That’s why it’s no surprise many small business owners in pretty much any field experience an unexpected surge in customers during the holidays. Increased profits is great, but with an influx of customers comes a greater demand of employees. So, where most small business owners typically only manage 3-4 employees at a time, during the holidays, they’re stuck juggling and overseeing 6-8 employees. Managing all those employees all at once can be one heck of a headache, but it doesn’t have to be. Check out these 5 tricks to easy employee management, so you can handle any amount of employees, no problem.

1. 5-Minute Check-Ups

You put in a lot of time making sure that your customers are happy, right? Well, during hectic times like the holidays you should be putting in just as much time to make sure your employees are happy too. If they get frustrated and are unhappy that will quickly transfer to your customers, and we DON’T want that.

Establish quick check-up times before an employee hits the floor. These shouldn’t be long. A quick 5-minute chat will do the trick. These check-ups help remind employees that even though things are chaotic, you still see them as individuals and care about their individual needs. It also helps to keep them on task and ensure they don’t get lost in the holiday shuffle. Lastly, it’s a good opportunity to subtly address any issues or changes you’d like to see them make, and check up on their performance.

2. Perfect Your Employee Schedule

With customers flooding the gates of your shop, you need to make sure employees are able to quickly act and give assistance. That’s why it’s imperative your employee schedule is as organized as possible. There is no room for error when your appointments schedule is fully booked. You can’t afford any lapses in coverage or double bookings. Employees have to respond quickly and always know exactly where they need to be, what customer they need to be servicing, and at what time.

3. Mobile Access to Schedule

During the holiday frenzy, you’re not going to have the luxury of hiding behind a desktop screen. You’re going to constantly be on the move, mingling with customers, servicing customer (if you’re one of those employee/owner hybrids), checking inventory, managing everyone else, you name it. Bottom line, you’re going to need access to your employee’s calendar whenever, wherever you are. When things get chaotic you need to have the ability to make any last minute schedule changes while you’re on the move.

4. Organized Record Keeping

Though it may seem laborious and annoying, you NEED to be keeping some sort of organized form of your employee records. Organized employee records are extra important when you’re running with all hands on deck because it can help you easily keep track of vital information.

You want to be recording each employees hours to make sure that none of them violate break policies, and so you have a rough idea what payroll will look like at the end of the pay cycle. Plus, you want to make sure you’re not working anyone to the bone!

Additionally, having information regarding what customer each employee works best with can definitely help you when it comes to assigning certain employees to certain jobs/times. This will help keep both your employees and customers happy.

This may sound like a lot to record and track, but if you keep neat and organized records when there’s a surge of customers you can quickly look to your records and know with 100% confidence the best ways to adapt and capitalize on the customer surge.

5. Automated Shift Reminders

Imagine this: your shop is packed with tons of impatient, holiday crazed customers and one of your employees forgets their shift and doesn’t show up or shows up late. Now, you’re understaffed and stuck in the middle of a nightmare. Unless you’re okay with watching customers walk away, what you need is some sort of automated shift reminder functionality. This way you can always alert your grooming staff of upcoming shifts and any last minute changes.  


Looking for some more great tips for conquering the holiday season? Check out our 2015 Holiday Planning Guide!


About the Author

John Rigo

John Rigo is a content marketer with <a href="https://www.booker.com/" style="color: #2e9bd8">Booker</a>. His areas of expertise are writing and market research. John brings a unique perspective to the blogosphere with his extensive background in publishing. He also has a love for small and local businesses – how they work, how they grow, and why they succeed.

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