There always seems to be a problem with keeping employees busy during their downtime. Only a few employees can be considered go-getters or self-starters. The others will need help understanding that it’s a perfect time for tackling short-term projects.
Communicate and Plan
The first thing to do is understand exactly what your business needs, and the short-term projects your employees can accomplish. You’ll need to know their strengths and weaknesses, as well as their goals for working there. This requires open and honest communication. The best time for this is during an annual review.
The next step is to create an action plan with realistic projects and objectives for each of your employees. Always remember to write it out and pass it on. Everyone should be aware of these expectations. In order to help you think about some realistic goals are, we have a list of 10 ways to keep your employees busy.
1. Get organized.
Cut down on clutter and messes. These waste more time than you think and make a store look unkempt.
2. Evaluate use of time.
Have your employees reflect upon their day and look at all the small tasks that they do. This will get them thinking in greater detail about their how to become more productive. One way to spark their thoughts is to ask them simple questions, such as:
How much time it takes to process a transaction?
Can the return policy be updated to make it quicker?
What resources do you need?
3. Project Planning.
Have employees plan a special project with a specific goal. This is a great area for areas like marketing and advertising.
Nearly everyone has a social media page and often share information with family and friends. Your employees can provide free advertising. They can also help expand your customer base.
5. Cross training.
Look for ways to train your employees on various areas of the business. This will ensure coverage of duties and tasks when someone is absent.
6. Process Improvement.
Empower your employees to use their own personal evaluations to put in place a process improvement plan. You may see increased productivity and job satisfaction.
7. Follow up with customers.
Your point of sale software should provide a list of customer phone numbers and email addresses. Have your employees reach out to your most recent customers and personally check to see if they were satisfied or had any problems with their purchases.
8. Check in with the boss.
Downtime is also a great time to have employees check in with you to see if there is anything they can do for you to make your day easier. They can also give you an update on the events of the day or their personal progress toward achieving their goals.
9. Group meetings or discussions.
Impromptu or planned, either one is a great way to get the team together to share events and activities, as well as build rapport.
10. Research new programs and ideas.
Have them catch up on the latest industry news through blogs, webinars, podcasts, and videos. The more your employees learn, they will become more knowledgeable with customers. This also contributes to their professional development.
Take Inventory and Other Activities
These employee downtime projects will certainly make your employees more productive and they may make you more productive, too. With all of the small projects off your plate, you will be able to check inventory and purchase orders. There’s also all of the sales data to be analyzed from the holiday season. Whatever you choose, it all fits in with your business’ best practices and points you in the direction of success.
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