Motivating staff during peak trading periods

Posted by Kevin Chamberlain

During your busiest periods – school holidays, sale days like Black Friday, and Christmas – you should ensure your staff are motivated, switched on and ready to capitalise on the potential for increased sales and revenue.

But with all the increased activity, what can you do to ensure that your staff remain motivated?

Sales incentives

On a shop floor during peak trading periods, when stores are at their busiest, it can feel like staff are just endeavouring to get through a shift and deal with customers as quickly as possible. But if you run a business that relies on upselling, such as an appliance retailer offering extended warranties, you should ensure your staff are focussed on trying to attach additional items to each sale.

When it’s busy, meeting KPIs can fall by the wayside as staff just try to serve as many customers as possible. Incentivising the attach rate, like by having a leaderboard to track who is consistently performing well, can help keep staff focussed on a consistent level of service and your key commercial goals.

Offering a prize to the top performers also helps add a competitive edge to an employee’s working day, which can give them even more motivation to perform.

See how our incentive schemes can help

Incentivising work can help staff remain focused during even the busiest periods. Managers can hand out Instant Points Vouchers to staff who have hit a target or achieved a high-value sale, in order to maintain momentum throughout the sales period. If they know they will receive a reward for demonstrating positive behaviours, it will motivate them to continue striving for high performance. This can help them to see the increased footfall as less of an obstacle and more of an opportunity to shine.

Provide a means to relax

Busy periods can be particularly stressful for staff. Providing your team with something to look forward to, such as a team night out, is a great way to say thanks, reward their effort and hard work, and allow them to relax.

It also serves as something for staff to work towards. For instance, you could tie the night out to a sales incentive, with the location to be determined based on the level of performance they achieve. If the targets set are of smaller value, a regular trip to a bar could be appropriate to toast achievements , or an all expenses VIP night out if the team achieve a higher performance.  Alternatively, you could provide prizes that staff could win to enjoy on the night out, like drinks vouchers or even a stay in a nearby luxury hotel.

This should demonstrate to your team that the work they do is valued and doesn’t go unnoticed. Doing this is especially important during peak trading periods as a way to give staff something to focus on, providing an end goal to help them get through that hectic period.

A team night out doesn’t necessarily have to be an organised event to feel special, like going to a gig or a major sports event. It could be as simple as organising a trip to a bar one night after a particularly busy shift, or a visit to the cinema. These are activities that can be provided at the end of a shift as a means to help staff unwind after a long and stressful day. They can also help recharge batteries and help staff refocus for their next shift.

Types of incentive

When your incentive falls during a specific time of year the key to motivating staff is to build a level of hype around the season itself. A themed event can build interest, and also makes the promotion of the incentive easier as you have something timely to tie it to.

Your theming could be appropriate to the time of year, looking at specific events such as Christmas, Easter or Halloween as ways to drive enthusiasm around your event, you can also promote awareness to staff throughout the end event with handouts and posters in the staff room which match the seasonal theme your event has.

You could run an incentive that provides scratch cards to win prizes, or Instant Points Vouchers which can be redeemed against potential Christmas gifts for example. These prizes could then be themed around the season. For Christmas incentives, smaller prizes could be vouchers and small food hampers, increasing in value with top prizes being once in a lifetime experiences and major gifts.

You could also combine seasonal rewards with prizes which are relevant to your industry. A tech company for example could give away anything from an iPad, to a TV all the way up to a trip to Tokyo or tickets to a major technology convention.

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Offering help and assistance

Another way to demonstrate that you value your staff and, in turn, help them stay motivated, is to provide as much help and support during peak periods as possible.

Being busier often increases the likelihood of staff being stressed, rushing and, sometimes, making mistakes.

Making sure staff aren’t panicking about workloads comes from keeping everything as organised and straightforward as possible. Getting the right processes in place, and recapping any necessary training, can keep your business running smoothly – even when it gets much busier.

Providing the tools staff need to participate in the incentive is essential, pre-launch. Ensure they are equipped with all the right knowledge about your products and how they compare against your competitors by carrying out online e-learning tests. Employees could take a small amount of time out of each day or week to perform the online learning. By having a brand ambassador within your business, they can help support staff by reinforcing their learnings and giving them the encouragement they need to boost their performance during the busy sales period.

While a sales incentive during a busy period might help some staff to thrive, others might struggle to balance the sense of competition alongside dealing with extra customers and the increased hustle and bustle. It’s crucial that you support such staff. Providing an e-learning experience, especially in advance, can help staff to feel more prepared and capable. This can help staff to work through a busy and stressful period, motivating them to work harder and deliver greater results for your company.

Helping to motivate your staff all year round

There’s a lot that goes into keeping staff motivated, not just during peak periods but all year round. We offer a wide range of services that not only help staff to stay motivated and engaged, but can help to drive performance, allowing your business to capitalise on the opportunity for increased sales and revenue.

We’d love to help you engage, motivate and inspire your team with our innovative Sales Incentives services, including ready-made tactical packages which can be purchased and deployed quickly. We can also provide e-learning services to help your staff to be prepared and ready for any new product launch or peak trading period.

At CR Worldwide, we quickly design, launch and optimise powerful incentive programmes that drive increased sales in your business. Our sales incentive schemes are:

Easy to implement — Our turnkey MyRewards platform can be tailored to suit your requirements, meaning you can be ready to implement sales incentive schemes fast.

Easy to use — Our platforms are made to be straightforward, so your staff can easily work towards their targets and the rewards up for grabs, track their performance and compete with their colleagues.

Easy to manage — Our programmes offer real-time reporting in participation with ROI and budget management. This means you can efficiently manage, organise and track your team’s performance and the value of your incentive schemes.

To speak to a member of our award-winning team to learn how else we can help your business: