While you’re gearing up for the holidays, it’s time to tackle how you’re going to handle the increase in bookings that undoubtedly will occur in the coming weeks.
Spas will probably see their bookings go from moderate to heavy, while salons appointments will increase from average to fully-booked.
Holiday staffing doesn’t have to be challenging, but you may need to rethink how your services are delivered, who delivers them, and how you can optimize your coverage during peak periods.
There are a number of things you can do to prepare your existing staff and make the most of the temporary staff you undoubtedly will have to hire.
Tips for Existing Staff
- Prepare your staff for high volume. It’s important to establish and communicate to your team who’s working what days and at what times. Also make sure all paid time off requests have been approved well in advance so you can adjust your schedule accordingly.
- Review customer service techniques and policies, especially those around dissatisfied customers. Although the holidays are marketed as “the most wonderful time of the year”, the truth is that this season can be stressful and bring some people to their wit’s end. Equip your staff with the diplomacy tools they need to calm a distraught customer.
- Ask managers and staff members to work overtime to offset the need for staffing during heavily booked periods.
- Consider offering employees holiday pay as an incentive to work longer hours.
Tips for Temporary Hires
- Hire for attitude as much as aptitude. Most seasonal work is about being flexible and getting up to speed quickly, rather than having an extensive skill set.
- Build in time to train seasonal employees adequately. No one likes to feel unsure about their job responsibilities – especially in front of clients. Make sure they understand and feel comfortable performing the tasks being assigned to them; know the products and services you provide; are familiar with all your special offers; and can deliver the level of customer service you require.
- Call on seasonal staff who’ve worked for you in the past (students in particular) and ask them to work during the holidays. They can earn a little extra money, and you can benefit from an employee who’s already been trained to work in your spa or salon.
- Consider giving an exclusive for your seasonal hires to just one staffing vendor. Staffing agencies may be inundated trying to fill the seasonal needs for many clients at once. If you promise one agency all your business, they may be more willing to go the extra mile to find you the best candidates.
- Ask local beauty and cosmetology schools if they have any experienced students who’d be interested in seasonal work.
- Ask some of your customers if they’re interested in holiday work. Believe it or not, your most loyal customers can be your best ambassadors and make great seasonal staff. Offer them an employee discount to thank them for helping out.
- Have a few standby freelancers to draw on if you need them. You can call on these professionals when you find your salon or spa is fully booked and you need extra help. These service providers can also help you if one of your staff becomes ill unexpectedly.
The holidays can be demanding and fast-paced. Take time now to plan for potential issues and challenges, and you’ll ensure that your customers will enjoy a peaceful atmosphere and positive experience.
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