A company’s team is its lifeline. From high-level responsibilities to everyday tasks, employees ensure a business’s success. Today, there are approximately 10.4 million job openings and only 8.4 million people looking for employment. Many businesses are trying to figure out how to keep staff morale high and continue to provide great customer service during a staff shortage. We offer practical tips and employee appreciation giveaways to help.
Incorporate fun activities
Keep morale high by creating an office activity center for refreshing breaks. Stock it with board games, puzzles, books and brain teasers to help staff rejuvenate. Whether employees want to engage with a co-worker or have a few moments to themselves, providing the space to do it can help.
Host regular team outings that help employees recharge. Treat everyone to a healthy lunch once a month. Host movie nights—in person or virtual. Or organize group bowling or golf. And don’t forget the snacks. Keep your office stacked with options like trail mix, granola bars and fruit.
Offer flexible hours
Flexible hours can be especially beneficial if you’re short on staff. When employees see that you care about their work/life balance, they’ll be more likely to go above and beyond. Can you offer staff the option to work hours other than the traditional 9 to 5? Can they log in early in the morning or late at night? Or are they able to work the weekend in exchange for a weekday?
Support staff in their personal life too. Can you extend lunch breaks on occasion, allowing for tasks like oil changes, dentist appointments or a trip to the gym? Permitting staff to take time for themselves during work hours encourages self-care. Make sure there is enough staff coverage by implementing a chart that tracks who’s working and when. Dry erase weekly calendars or memo boards work well. You can also provide weekly desk planners so employees can better plan their work weeks.
When staff is inundated with phone calls, it can be easy for a customer or two to slip through the cracks. Offer texting options to improve responsiveness. Or let customers know in your on-hold message that they can email your office any time of the day. By providing multiple communication methods, customers can get answers to their questions when they need them, while also balancing employee workloads.
To easily answer common questions, create a few simple videos that provide assembly instructions, product demonstrations or answers to common questions. Staff can quickly send customers a helpful video link for optimal customer service. Employee appreciation giveaways, like squishy stress relievers, vacuum bottles, nuts and gum, are great ways to say thanks to staff who help make these helpful videos a reality.
With proper training, employees can be empowered to make decisions normally reserved for a supervisor. Perhaps a customer is dissatisfied and asks for a discount. Or maybe a client is asking for a service that’s just a bit out of scope. Training support staff to make judgment calls—without putting the customer through a multi-layered approval process—results in happier customers and happier staff.
Provide training and documentation that clearly lists company policies as well as a helpful decision-making tree. A training giveaway, like a tabbed notebook, is a great place for staff to take notes. Keep a few items on hand, such as a coffee mug filled with mug cake mix or a mason jar hot chocolate kit, that employees can give to customers as a thank-you for reaching out and sharing their concerns.
Best support for staff and customers
With these easy-to-implement tips and employee appreciation and training giveaway ideas, your staff will feel empowered, and customers will stay happy—even during a staff shortage.