Your staff is probably giving its all during the month of December (for many of us, the rest of the year is training camp and this is our competitive season).  Don’t forget to say thank you for their hard work! There are lots of creative ways to give them a reward at the end of the season.

One year, when our staff was considerably smaller, we gave each employee a hundred dollar bill stuffed into a Christmas cracker.  We love the English tradition of crackers — and we sell quite a few — but I can attest to the fact that they are not easy to stuff.

Now we give everyone who works over a certain number of hours during the holiday season a bonus on their last paycheck of the month. We we differentiate between part-time and full-time staff, so there are three different bonus levels. This system seems fair, and everyone needs cash at the holidays.

Of course every store has a different approach to rewarding their staff. Here are a few ideas from other retailers:

take your staff out to dinner at an upscale restaurant

arrange for a staff outing on a day you are closed (one retailer took her staff to an art museum to get display inspiration)

give employees credit to be used in store when buying merchandise with their regular employee discount

set up a bonus pool based on an increase of sales over the previous holiday season, and share it among all employees (based on their percentage of the payroll)

One of the most popular benefits that we give our staff as a thank you is the day after Christmas (Boxing Day) as a holiday. That means that no one has to spend Christmas getting ready for the next day’s sale. And frankly by December 26 we’re all ready for a rest!

Happy Retailing,

Carol “Orange” Schroeder

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