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Strategies to recharge employees after a hectic holiday season

Dec 20, 2023 - Alyssa Wolfe
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For ecommerce businesses, the holiday season is the most exciting time of year. From watching profits climb on Black Friday Cyber Monday (BFCM) to processing gift orders in the weeks leading up to key gift-giving holidays, November and December bring encouraging sales and heartening trends for many retailers. Despite all of its positivity and excitement, the holiday season can also be incredibly draining for ecommerce retail and fulfillment staff. The demands of the year’s busiest shopping period primarily fall upon the shoulders of customer-facing employees and professionals in the logistics and fulfillment departments. As a result, employee burnout signs often rear their ugly heads in the weeks following peak season.Once the sparkle of the holidays begins to wane, it’s time to turn attention to employee retention – especially as they face the aftermath and returns. Addressing employee burnout is crucial for staff retention and ongoing productivity. Encouraging employees to prioritize their well-being, especially after such a busy period, not only fosters a positive work environment but also promotes overall productivity and morale. As you organize opportunities for rest and rejuvenation, consider the following ideas.

Offer flexible work arrangements

Sometimes, a change of setting can go a long way. Consider how much location matters for employee productivity. Every role is different, but if you can incorporate more flexibility into work arrangements, you may notice positive impacts on staff retention. Remote work options are highly sought after and can help encourage employee retention in the long term.

Understandably, some roles require in-person work. Positions in transportation, logistics, warehousing and inventory management generally require physical attendance. There is still room for flexibility here, though. Offering compressed workweeks, flexible hours, and extended time off demonstrates to your employees that you recognize the work they’ve been putting in and allows them to prioritize their own well-being. This added flexibility also communicates trust in your team, which is essential for a strong working relationship. Providing the flexibility for downtime and giving employees space to cater to their personal needs can help reduce stress and foster a healthier work-life balance, enabling them to recharge both physically and mentally.

Organize wellness activities

Organize wellness activities employees can engage in during the workday, especially for teams that cannot work remotely. Wellness activities encourage physical and mental rejuvenation, leaving team members refreshed and ready to resume work. A few ideas for wellness activities to offer in the workplace include the following:

  • Yoga sessions
  • Mindfulness workshops
  • Meditation classes
  • Team-based fitness challenges
  • Stress management workshops
  • Healthy cooking demonstrations

These activities help employees alleviate work-related stress while promoting ongoing health.

It’s also important to consider how you can help improve employee wellness outside of the workplace. Providing access or credits toward fitness memberships, wellness programs and community sports teams can increase overall health and help employees feel supported. Prioritizing wellness initiatives enhances employee morale and promotes a culture of holistic well-being within the workplace.

Encourage team-building activities

Carefully selected team-building activities offer a double benefit of improving overall wellness while fostering a sense of community and camaraderie among employees. When executed appropriately, team-building activities can boost employee morale and increase employee retention. When people like the team they work with, they’re more likely to stay.

Team outings, recreational activities, competitions, outdoor team-building activities and volunteer opportunities can all help bring teams together and allow employees to bond. These activities create a positive and supportive team environment by removing work-related stress from the interaction and allowing employees to be themselves. When possible, encourage team-building activities during work hours so that employees do not feel pressured to attend extra events outside of working hours after an already stressful few months.

Stronger interpersonal relationships can blossom when team members get to know each other better. These bonds pave the way for improved communication and enhanced job satisfaction in the long term, contributing to a more cohesive and resilient team that can band together in even the most stressful periods.

Provide professional development opportunities

In addition to providing flexibility and opportunities for wellness and connection, it’s essential to demonstrate your dedication to professional development for your staff. Most people hope to move up into new roles and see their career progress. One of the top reasons for employee burnout and turnover is a lack of development opportunities.

As such, one of the most powerful staff retention strategies is providing professional development opportunities. Consider leveraging staff retention survey questions that ask about future aspirations and ideal next steps for your team. From there, you can offer meaningful professional development opportunities that align with their career goals. These opportunities might include access to the following:

  • Skill enhancement workshops
  • Educational seminars
  • Industry conferences

Better yet, allocate a budget and allow your staff to choose a professional development opportunity within the field. This commitment to investing in the professional growth of your employees can reignite their motivation and passion for their role and show them what they’re working toward. Encouraging continuous learning enhances employee engagement and demonstrates your commitment to their long-term career progression and success.

Recognize and appreciate their efforts

It may seem simple or overrated, but employee recognition is a critical staff retention strategy. Especially as you emerge from the holiday rush, remember to express gratitude for the hard work your employees have contributed for months. Acknowledge that employee burnout is a valid and serious obstacle and open the lines of support and communication for your team.

Employee recognition strategies can include verbal appreciation, personalized notes, a Slack channel dedicated to employee recognition, formal appreciation events and awards ceremonies. Adopting a combination of these on a rotating schedule can help you build out a comprehensive recognition program that keeps employees feeling seen and encouraged. Demonstrating genuine appreciation for their efforts can significantly boost morale and foster a positive work culture centered on respect. Celebrate their achievements and contributions to reinforce a sense of value and appreciation within the organization.

Prioritizing employee well-being and providing opportunities for relaxation, recognition and rejuvenation after a demanding ecommerce season is crucial for maintaining a motivated and engaged workforce. Retaining your trained staff is critical to the ongoing success of your retail business, so setting aside time and budget for these employee wellness efforts is in the best interest of your business. With these strategies in place, you can foster a happy, healthy and productive workforce.

Connect with us today to see how can support your team after the holidays!