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In the hospitality world, Christmas brings business. But it's also a time of busyness—and with this comes increased pressures on staff, sales and success. For employers, this poses a plethora of challenges that seem only to be exasperated by the return of COVID. The uncertainty of the new Omicron variant is lingering in the news and occupying space in the back of the nation’s mind. After a tough time last Christmas, it was hoped and expected that this year would be different for the hospitality sector. Yet, the uncertainty around the Christmas build-up seems to have resurfaced once more.
To help you overcome the COVID uncertainty and support your employees through this time, we’ve put together 5 tips for hospitality employers this Christmas.
Communication is key during times of tension. Make sure you’re communicating with all employees to let them know the plans in the run-up to Christmas. Keep them updated on any changes to COVID regulations and schedule regular meetings to check in with how your team members are doing. When you can keep a solid line of communication running, everyone feels engaged and involved. This way teams can work together more effectively to take on the Christmas crowds.
When it comes to morale, a little really can go a long way. Acknowledge your staff members for the service they provide, thank your team for their efforts and spur them on with a pep talk where possible. These small tokens of respect and appreciation might not seem like much. But it motivates employees to keep going through the busy periods.
Staying proactive with COVID precautions reduces the chances of mass employee isolation. Encourage mask-wearing, hand washing, station cleaning and track and trace where possible. It will keep your employees and your customers safe and reduce the chance of anyone catching the virus. Customers are also likely to notice your efforts too, which will highlight your concerns for their safety.
As we’ve seen before, COVID can quickly damage any plans we have in place. Having a Plan B is a good precaution as the news of the Omicron variant surfaces once more. What will you do if an employee needs to isolate without warning? How can you prepare for the event of further restrictions? Is there a way you can implement precautionary measures should these events occur?
Christmas in the hospitality sector is a difficult time as it is, never mind the added pressure of protentional COVID disruption. During times of heightened footfall, it can be difficult for employees to find time for work-life balance. But their mental and physical health depends upon this. Make sure you signpost employees to any support they have available to them should they need it. Whether it’s an employee assistance plan, internal support, or additional guidance from management. It can make all the difference in times of need.
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