Worried about managing staff & maintaining sales during the festive season? Here is what you should follow
We Indians love enjoying the high that is brought upon by the various festivals that are celebrated here. The anticipation of the celebration that shall follow is enough to put us all in a festive mood much in advance. The fact that we do not have a scarcity of festivals is an added benefit, for it only elongates the festive spirit. As a culturally diverse nation, the people of India enjoy the rituals and celebrations that are associated with various religions and cultures. Some festivals that are celebrated and much anticipated each year are Diwali, Holi, Christmas, Ganpati, Navaratri, etc.
Once the festive season starts, there is no stopping people in their homes from celebrating. Houses are decorated, food and drinks are prepared, guests are invited, and families bond and catch-up, there is occasional dancing and what not! Interestingly, this is also reflected at workspaces. In a way, celebrating festivals in workspaces becomes important because they make people feel at home even when they’re away from home.
Offices and places of works also take it upon themselves to celebrate various festivals in any which way that they can and because of this, the workspaces of individuals begin reflecting the positive mood that they display. But with the employees engaging in a festive mood, their superiors must keep in mind that managing work and operations during festivals can be quite the task. It all comes down to the leader and their ability to manage their staff and keep the festivities from adversely affecting the sales.
How to co-manage staff and sales during festivals?
One can celebrate festivals and yet be extremely efficient in the way that they are handling their subordinate staff. Read on and learn how to keep your staff happy, the customers happy, and the sales thriving.
- Scheduling is important: Encourage early planning and making an appropriate leave schedule that doesn’t sacrifice on work while also not making the employees unhappy. Work deadlines, meetings, etc. should all be taken care of beforehand so that the staff can plan their schedules around them. Create a leave tracker and ask your employees to fill in their names as per their convenience. Make sure all the spots are taken. If not, ask the team to coordinate among themselves so that work does not suffer. It is important to realise that the employees need to be happy in order to run a successful company.
- Reward and Motivate: Ensure special rewards for employees who opt to work during festivals. This will incentivise working during festivals and will boost the sale index. This need not be cash per se, but can also be non-cash incentives. Gift cards, gift vouchers, discount coupons and even paid leave/s, all factor in as rewards. Start-ups do not believe in rewarding their employees with cash but rather rely on non-cash rewards as they too believe that it builds a rapport between the employees and their superiors from an early stage itself.
- Hire temporary workers: Give your permanent employees some days off if they demand so and keep the sales afloat by hiring a pool of part-time workers who can take care of running the sales during festivals. There are a lot of part-timers or people who are looking for jobs with flexible work hours that pay decently.
- Themes and Schemes: There are many things that the HR department can plan to safeguard the interests of the employees who want to celebrate the festivities while also keeping in mind that no matter what, work must go on. For example, employees can participate in a ‘Point-based rewards’ game. In this game, a few days before the festival arrives, all the employees can be made to compete with each other to make the most number of sales. One with the highest points can be awarded a gift voucher on the day of the festival. You can even plan a Secret Santa!
Gifts can be distributed across the workforce, so they feel content. The workplace interior can be thematically planned to match the festival so that even the workplace feels like a part of the festival and helps the staff become productive.
- Online presence: Launch and curate the distribution of your sales through online portals. Since the employees will not feel motivated enough to work, give them some space away from work to feel the joy. Meanwhile, you can introduce tempting offers on your products online and let the sales soar on there. Almost 60% of internet users buy goods and products from online marketplaces.
- Efficiency: Managing a business or a company is dependent on finding the right balance between being lenient enough with the staff, so as to not to make them unhappy, while also not sacrificing on sales and production. A survey recorded that about 61% of the survey subjects were looking forward to spending over Rs. 15,000 in the festive season of 2019 while 12% were looking to cross that mark and spend more than Rs. 1 Lakh. Remember, it is the job of the employees to make these sales and attract more customers. Your customers will only be happy, so long as your employees are happy.
There are as many as 37 festivals that are popularly celebrated In India with zeal. During festivals, people are willing to spend mindlessly huge amounts on shopping. Therefore, the profit margins of companies and businesses widen during festivals. These are the potential gains that a company can avail of.
Simultaneously, during festivals, a company may also stand to risk losing the productivity and focus of its staff if they are not briefed well in advance. This, in turn, would ultimately impact the sales that a company makes. Make sure you don’t encourage bunking the office during festival season. Instead of blatantly disallowing your staff to celebrate festivals, reach a middle ground and make the rules a little lax and working sound fun!
Q. Is it economically profitable to provide bonuses to employees during festivals?
A. A famous Indian company went from paying 1-month salary as a bonus to its employees during Diwali the 1990s to eventually replacing this scheme by giving everyone 1 sweet the day before Diwali in 2001. It is understandable that with the worsening economy, companies have no choice but to curb the provisions that are arranged for the employees and consider other cost-cutting options. Especially small-scale business and companies that do not boast a high revenue in the first place. In that case, companies can turn to non-cash incentives and still continue to please their employees. Maybe the employees can be awarded time-bound gift-cards that will enable them to purchase items on sale. A company can offer its employees a little discount on the same services that the company gives. For example, if you own a clothing store, you can give your employees vouchers for the same.
Q. How many festivals ought to be celebrated?
A. If your employees are keen on celebrating festivals, then do not be a buzzkill and spoil their festive spirit. A little bit of celebration never really accounted for a huge loss anyway. Festivals that are celebrated nationally and jovially ought to be celebrated even in the workspace. Be it for a few days, the entire atmosphere of the workspace becomes positive, and the employees feel motivated too. It is completely up to you to decide which festivals should be celebrated. However, consult your subordinates too and make it a group decision. In India, some festivals that demand celebration are Diwali, Christmas, Holi, Ganpati, etc.
Q. How to deal with festival seasons during the pandemic?
A. There are, certainly, ways to keep your businesses flourishing even during the pandemic. Come festive seasons, here’s what you can do to make the profit that is brought about by mass festival shopping.
1. Establish a presence for your brand online and directly deal with customers there since COVID-19 has confined most of the people to their homes.
2. Stock up products that will sell well and declutter those items that you know will not sell during the pandemic. Prioritise!
3. Understand buying behaviour. COVID-19 initially had triggered panic buying that led to many retailing stores to stock up their inventories in bulk. Understand and predict what people would want to buy, given that they are stuck in their homes and act accordingly.