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Easter is just around the corner.

As Easter weekend approaches, the hospitality industry prepares for one of its busiest times of the year. For many, it’s a time of celebration, family gatherings, and religious observances. However, for those working in hotels, restaurants, and other hospitality businesses, it often means long shifts, packed venues, and the challenge of balancing work commitments with personal celebrations. As leaders in this industry, it’s crucial to recognise where to support staff during this hectic time, especially considering the dichotomy between their desire to be with family and the necessity of working during a holiday period.

Leaders need to acknowledge the significance of Easter weekend for the staff. It’s not just another busy period; it’s a time when many employees would prefer to be with their loved ones, participating in traditions and celebrations. Understanding this can allow you to offer empathy and create a supportive work environment. Acknowledging the importance of family and personal time during Easter can go a long way in boosting morale and motivation among staff.

Managers and supervisors need to take the approach to offer flexibility. Whenever possible. While it may not be feasible to grant everyone their preferred time off, finding ways to accommodate requests for time with family can make a significant difference. This could involve implementing a fair rotation system for shifts, allowing staff to swap shifts with colleagues, or offering additional time off in lieu of working during the holiday.

Managers may be considering going back to the shop floor themselves during busy periods like Easter weekend. Probably not for the first time, re-opening following lockdown and as with the recruitment shortage, (which has not gone away), managers are often seen supporting the team. While it may seem tempting for leaders to delegate tasks and stay in the comfort of their offices, there is immense value in leading by example. Stepping onto the shop floor not only provides practical support by helping to alleviate workload pressure but also demonstrates solidarity with frontline staff.

By being present during peak times, leaders can gain valuable insights into the challenges that their employees face and demonstrate their commitment to supporting them. It also fosters a sense of camaraderie and teamwork, showing staff that everyone is in it together, working towards a common goal. This can help boost morale and create a more positive work environment, even amidst the chaos of a busy holiday weekend.

Managers should prioritise communication and regular check ins with staff throughout the weekend. Providing updates on scheduling, expectations, and any changes in procedures can help alleviate anxiety and ensure everyone is on the same page. Moreover, actively seeking feedback from employees about their experiences during busy periods can help identify areas for improvement and demonstrate a commitment to continuous improvement.

It is also essential for leaders to show appreciation for their staff’s hard work and dedication, especially during challenging times like Easter weekend. Simple gestures such as thank-you notes, small tokens of appreciation, or even just verbal recognition can go a long way in boosting morale and making employees feel valued.

Balancing the need for business operations with the desire for personal time during holidays is no easy feat, but with empathy, flexibility, and support, leaders can help create a positive work environment where employees feel valued and supported. Sometimes that means going back to the shop floor themselves, leading by example and demonstrating solidarity with their hardworking team members.

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