As the New year unfolds, the industry always experiences a lull in January & February. With many businesses just “getting through” the quieter period, it is important not to let the energy within the business dwindle. In fact, it is an excellent opportunity to focus on keeping your staff engaged and motivated during this time in January and February. This reduction in guest and customer traffic can impact staff morale, leading to the January blues. Managers and supervisors need to recognise and address this, to maintain a positive and productive team.
Keep your team engaged.
Training & Development Opportunities: Utilise the quieter periods to invest in your staff’s CPD. Offer training sessions, workshops, and online courses that enhance their skills. This not only keeps them engaged, but also contributes to career development and will foster a sense of loyalty to the business. If you have not already booked staff on the HIT Talent Conference, taking place on the 8th February 2024, book now….Here
Team Building activities: Strengthen the team bond by organising team building activities. Whether it is a group outing, a friendly competition or collaborative projects fostering a sense of unity can boost team morale. Even a simple walk in the fresh air together, will allow staff to take their minds off work and recharge.
Flexible scheduling: Consider implementing a more flexible work pattern during the quiet season. This could involve rotating shifts or allowing staff to propose their preferred schedules. A more accommodating work environment can help alleviate stress and increase job satisfaction.
Recognition & Appreciation: Regularly acknowledge and appreciate your team’s hard work. Implement an employee recognition programme to highlight outstanding performance. Recognising their efforts instils a sense of pride and motivates them to maintain high standards.
Open Communication Channels: Create a culture of open communication. Regularly check in with your team to understand their concerns and suggestions. Knowing that their opinions are valued can contribute to a positive work atmosphere and enhance staff engagement.
Encourage a Healthy Work Life Balance: Emphasise the importance of maintaining a healthy work life balance. Encourage staff to take breaks, use up their holiday entitlements, and engage in activities outside of work that are fun. In addition, promote information on the benefits of better sleep patterns. A well-balanced life contributes to overall well-being and helps combat the January blues.
Promote Mental Health Awareness: January blues can be exacerbated by seasonal affective disorder (SAD). Increase awareness about mental health disorders in general and provide staff with helpful resources. Consider offering workshops on stress management and mindfulness. Creating a supportive environment fosters a resilience among the team.
Navigating the January & February slump in the hospitality industry requires a proactive approach to maintain staff engagement and morale. By investing in training, fostering teamwork, recognizing achievements, and addressing the January blues head-on, businesses can create a positive and motivating environment that benefits both staff and the bottom line. Embracing these strategies not only helps survive the quieter months but also sets the stage for a successful and uplifting year.
Gordon McIntyre MBE
Founder & Chairman