Will Black Friday turn employees’ next holidays blue?

 

Blog - Great Place to Work - December 7, 2011

Will Black Friday turn employees’ next holidays blue?

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After finally finishing all our leftover turkey, I started reflecting on some the holiday retail news. Specifically, how would longer shopping hours work out for retailers and employees? Clearly, shoppers loved it. And that gave retailers lots of reasons to love it, too. Roughly 54 billion reasons by some early tallies.

How was it for employees? Apparently, not a lot of fun.

Nearly 181,000 employees signed a “Save Thanksgiving” petition to protest their workplace extending Black Friday into their holiday. And that was even before customers began using pepper spray.

Given the financial success, the longer hours are a good bet to happen again. So how can employers and employees best make the extended hours work?

When I’ve seen Best Companies in the position of asking employees to tackle a tough assignment, they’ve used a lot of creative approaches. Rather than assign the work, some asked employees to volunteer for the project or extra hours, understanding it’s not always a negative (fewer holiday hours could be a good thing depending on your in-laws). Others have gone to great lengths to thank people, even sending notes of appreciation to employees’ families for sharing their loved one’s time. Ultimately, they demonstrate the two defining characteristics of the Best Companies: they build trust with employees and treat their extra work as a gift to the organization.

What have you seen? How would you enable and inspire employees for go past the norms of their role?

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