Any downtime a chance to review strategies, strengthen weak areas of the business While many companies will be without their full staff compliment over the December season, there is still every reason for most business operators to encourage focus and commitment during the ‘slow season’ and utilise this time to address issues, fix problems and emerge stronger in the new year. This time of the year usually presents most managers with a challenge: how to keep staff motivated and minimise the effects of their “battle scarred” workforce, particularly because deadlines still need to be met, tasks completed and deliverables seen to. It is a period of pressure and really does put systems, processes, procedures and people to the test says Martina Laurie, CEO of Hands on Treatment, The Mobile Massage Company, a South African wellness company and mobile massage specialist, and she agrees with experts who believe it is here where leaders can really make a difference. Laurie says employers should make a concerted effort to foster an environment that supports contentment, reinforces positive energy and wellness. “We all know that a happy employee is a productive employee and vice-versa,” Laurie explains. Hands on Treatment has compiled a few tips below to help companies instil this atmosphere at work and help those who are not on leave during the festive season. Communicate Now is the ideal time to reinforce communication channels, address issues and strengthen ties. With the slower pace in business over the festive season, decision makers have an opportunity to listen to their employees, to discuss opportunities, challenges and areas of operation that need attention. “Use this time to set one-on-one meetings and address those matters that are often side-lined during the year because of time,” says Laurie. Motivate and reward. Recognition and acknowledgement of effort goes a long way to instilling a sense of pride and cultivating commitment, which can last well into the festive season and into the new year. There is no reason why staff working through the holidays cannot be treated to a year-end party or social to toast this time, the work completed and their goals for the new year. “Of course, we are in the business of wellness and a significant part of this is the provision of mobile massage services. We believe that this service can and does help staff who may be feeling the strain of a long and often challenging year,” Laurie adds. Rest and relaxation Managers are realising that there is a lot of benefit to corporate mobile massing service. Staff can be given a massage at work, in the office, without impacting on operations. It will help during downtime and make the employee feel special. Hands on Treatment is adamant that these are just a few hints and leadership in business must set an example and lead from the front in terms of how to deal with, manage and continue operation during what is a difficult but crucial time.