Ways to Avoid Burnout When Working the Holidays in Retail

by Sarah Niderost, 3 minutes read
HOME blog ways to avoid burnout when working the holidays in retail

The demands of your career, family life, and social obligations intensify with holiday shopping and celebrations. Working in retail means you’re also getting extra business, with your employees working longer hours – and fewer days off the clock.

The quick adjustment to the highest traffic days in your store can be stressful for your team. As they navigate working more shifts and overtime this season, make sure they're not at risk for burning out.

Here are some ways that you can help your team avoid burnout when working the holidays in retail.

Don’t offer too much overtime

The holidays are a great opportunity for your employees to pick up open shifts while their coworkers take time. But if they work too much, they’ll have less downtime from their job. And less downtime is a slippery slope to a buildup of stress.

If you notice any team members taking open shifts with already packed schedules, check in with them and make sure they’re able to manage their workload. If they seem a little unsure about it, offer some of their shifts to other staff with availability in their seasonal schedule.

Communicate clearly

One of the biggest challenges of working in retail during the holidays is keeping track of everyone’s different schedules. Whether some team members are taking a week-long trip, taking two days off to spend with family, or not taking any time off at all, you want to make sure your team’s schedules are prepped, error-free, and align with everyone’s availability.

Check in with your staff and double-check the days they’re planning to take off, and set clear goals for work they have to finish before they head out. You can use a leave management tool to help you better navigate vacations, time off requests, and open shifts too.

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Encourage self-care

As lines of customers wait for you to open your doors and rush to take advantage of post-Christmas sales, your team members are hurrying around your store to make sure no one is left unattended. They're on their feet and stocking shelves just as much as they’re delivering quality customer service.

Busy times can easily equate to stressful situations occurring during their shift. Communicate with your team members and ask them if they are taking breaks, getting enough rest, and staying hydrated. You can also do this with a pre-shift questionnaire. As you take a look at your team’s responses, think of ways you can help them feel less stressed during their holiday shifts.

Show your appreciation

It takes a lot out of your team to ensure your store’s successful holiday season. Make sure your staff know how much you value all of their hard work during such a busy time. You can show them your appreciation by giving them gift cards to help them buy their friends and family presents, or leaving breakfast or lunch in the breakroom for them to enjoy before their shift.

The more your staff knows that you’re appreciating the hard work, the more they’ll feel motivated during their shift. And more motivation can lead to more productivity.

Spread joy, not stress

Keeping your staff motivated and ready to take on the holiday rush will rid them of the extra stress that contributes to burnout. By focusing on giving them time off, appreciation, and staff wellbeing, you’ll have a happy team that’s ready to tackle the next shopping spree.

Want to learn more ways you can de-stress during the holiday season? Download a free trial of Deputy and see how smart scheduling can save your team from scheduling headaches.