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Christmas Peak Trade Survival Tips For Retail Employees

Sima Kumar Retail, Survival Guide...

Christmas Peak Trade Survival Tips For Retail Employees

Photo: Scott Webb Photography

Ever wonder what it’s like for retail employees during the busiest shopping time of the year? While we plan outings and stealth trips away from our loved ones to purchase presents, retail employees are working full-time and sometimes overtime to meet customer demands and the increase in foot traffic. 

Looking after the retail staff is one thing that every recruitment agency strives to accomplish. However, this time of year can become tricky with stress, colds, short days and long workdays. Here are eight easy to implement survival tips for retail employees to get through the holidays with as much cheer as the rest of us.

Photo credit: Markus Spiske via Unsplash
  1. Give yourself extra time: The holidays mean there is more traffic. More cars on the road, more people on buses, trains, the tube and on the street. Take this into consideration when heading out for your shift, so your commute to work doesn’t put you in a stressful state before you’ve even hit the shop floor. A little planning and prevention go a long way. 
  1. Take a packed lunch: Linked to tip #1, with all the extra people around, your favourite go-to spot to grab a bite will also be slammed. Instead of being frustrated and having to inhale your food which can disrupt your digestion and your mood, pack a meal from home and bring it to work with you. Enjoy your meal in peace and enjoy this time to switch off from all things work. 
  1. Comfort is key!: Most retailers have approved uniform guides, especially those in the luxury sector. If you’re working during peak trade, look at comfort that meets company guidelines, so you’re energised and supported while working the shop floor. An easy swap here is to look for shoes with a rubber vs leather sole. Your feet and back will thank you!
  1. Maintain professionalism at all times: Busy is a good thing! Customers never want to hear staff complaining about internal politics or how busy it is while doing their shopping. Focus on providing the best customer service with a professional attitude and watch how much faster your shift goes by. 
  1. Stay hydrated: Swap out your caffeine for water and if possible, water infused with vitamin c. As easy and addictive as coffee is, it also comes with the highs and lows of caffeine and sugar crashes which can leave you sluggish. The drop in energy can impact your performance while working. 
  1. Take a break: Employers are more aware than ever about employee mental health. Be sure to take your breaks to ensure you’re functioning for the long game. Remember you’re a human being, not a human doing. While on your break, try and find a quiet spot to rest your body and mind. Switch off from the Christmas music and reconnect with yourself to avoid burnout. 
  1. Check your schedule: Managers often have to think quickly during peak trade when it comes to shifts. With extra staff needed to for customer service and employees falling ill with seasonal colds and flu, always check in with your direct report and be sure you know the latest version of your schedule. If you can’t connect with someone at the store and you’re a seasonal temp, check in with your recruiter and they will get your schedule to you. 
  1. Get your shopping done early!: Don’t add stress to an already stressful time of year by leaving your shopping to the last minute. Keep the spirit of the season alive by getting through your list as early as possible. 

Remember this time of year is about giving. As a retail employee, that includes allowing yourself to make it through a busy trade season with optimal success so you too, can enjoy the holidays with your family and friends.