Keeping Retail Staff Motivated During the Hectic Pre-Christmas Period


If you run a retail business, then you probably already know what to expect during the run up to Christmas. While the pre-Christmas period usually means profit to look forward to, it can also mean pandemonium in your actual shop, especially if you sell things that people tend to buy as gifts or things people will want to use in their homes at Christmas time.

This can sometimes be pretty stressful for the people working in your shop, but of course, you need to keep them motivated so they can give that important feeling of festive cheer to your customers – who may be a bit stressed out themselves!

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With longer opening hours in the run up to Christmas, pressure to work when they may rather be out enjoying the season themselves, and greater volumes of customers, retail workers can feel the strain at Christmas, so here are some tips to help manage this:

Make Sure your Infrastructure Works Smoothly

If you want to implement anything new to help cope with the increase in sales or facilitate new deals or ways to shop, do it now in October so there is time to iron out any kinks before the rush. Make sure you have a reliable system for card payments, such as My Payment Savvy, and that any systems for accepting coupons or processing discounts work well. The last thing your cashiers need when they have a long queue and a full shop is technical problems.

Recruit Temporary Staff Early

You may need some extra hands to prevent being rushed off your feet during the weeks before Christmas and to cover additional hours for things like late night shopping. Recruit these early, so you have time to train them up, rather than throwing them in at the deep end by hiring when you are already busier than usual. Your regular staff will be hugely grateful for the help but also glad they won't have to assist people who don't know what they are doing yet while the store is busy.


Christmas music does, of course, set the mood for Christmas shopping, and can be fun for the people working in your shop too, however a lot of people do start to feel like they are being driven crazy by the same few songs that are being played everywhere they go! Try getting a playlist that intersperses Christmas classic with some other upbeat party music that will give the same cheery ambience without annoying your staff (and potentially customers) before December even arrives!

Don't Gift Wrap at The Till

If you sell products that people may want gift wrapped, don't make the people working on your counter do this at the point of sale. It holds up the lines and makes them feel very pressured. Instead, have a separate counter in the shop that is just doing gift wrapping. Some of your staff may love working on this counter, others may prefer to whizz things through the till, but you won't be forcing anyone to try and do both while frustrated shoppers queue!

These are just a few ways to make your shop a great place to work over the busy Christmas period.


Boris Dzhingarov is a freelance branding & marketing consultant, advising companies and businesses on all aspects of internet marketing, SEO, web design, graphic design, and PPC (pay Per Click). He is the founder of , , , and

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