How did this happen? It seems like the holiday season sneaks up on us quicker and quicker every year! Unlike last year when we were grappling with which holiday traditions were safe to continue, this holiday season presents us with the challenge of bringing the holiday traditions and exceptional service to our members while navigating through seemingly never-ending staffing challenges.
How can we ensure members feel the magic, and our employees don’t burn out after the hustle and bustle of the season? As you plan for service keep in mind that on top of the stress we’ve felt the past two years, being short staffed puts our teams in an even more precarious situation. Be careful not to add to the stress by asking employees to do something that exceeds their knowledge, abilities or coping skills. If you must, be certain to provide enough training and support to help close the stress gap.
No One Said You Had to Go Back to “How it Was Always Done”
If last year’s holiday celebrations taught us anything, it’s that it’s ok to pivot away from “what’s always been done” and that members will be receptive and may even welcome the change! Was Santa’s golf cart ride through the community the hit of the season? Who says it must stop? Chances are, it requires significantly less staff to execute, and it was great fun for your members. Perhaps this year you craft a parade route for members who don’t live within your club’s community? What about those fun fire pit tables and events? They don’t have to stop just because you can now be indoors. Break out the s’mores or red wine and chocolate truffles and keep it going!
Offer More Intimate Gatherings
Not currently staffed to deliver exceptional service to hundreds of guests in one seating? Delivering amazing service doesn’t always mean offering showstopping banquets to your members—making sure to take the time to engage with your members on a personal level will go very far this holiday season. Offer smaller, more intimate curated experiences such as holiday cooking classes or a chef’s table style dining experience. Work with your team to make an emotional connection with your members – focus on empathy, gratitude and generosity of spirit while seeking a real understanding of members’ needs and expectations.
This season is a stressful time for hospitality staff and this year’s staffing shortage means your staff may not be feeling the jolliest. This year its even more important to express graciousness to your staff—little acts of kindness can go a long way! Take the extra time and make efforts to ensure your team feels appreciated for the hard work they put in. Recognize their emotions and frustrations, then help them find moments of joy throughout the season. Can you help to reduce their stress, offer flexible schedules or encourage more time off or maybe this is the year you provide new incentives that really make a difference in their lives – get creative!
There is a lot to be thankful for this time of year— While this season is always our industry’s busiest, don’t forget to take the time for mindfulness. While the heart of great service is helping others create lasting memories, don’t forget to take a moment for yourself to manage your stress before it overwhelms you. Listen to a favorite song, go for a walk with a friend, spend some quality time with your favorite hobby, eat healthy, socialize with people who recharge your batteries, not drain them – and don’t forget about exercise and staying hydrated! As you take time for self-care, put yourself in an ‘attitude of gratitude’ – you will find so many blessings all around when you are looking for them.
May this season be merry and bright for you, your members, and your staff!