December 11th 2018
10 Tips for Staffing Managers
by Philip Atkins Staffing and Recruitment Advice
I’m a Staffing Manager – get me out of here!
It is estimated that companies in the UK spend over a billion pounds a year on corporate Christmas events, causing a huge demand in staffing for their delivery. So while celebrities battle it out in the jungle, eating balls and bottoms, it is always an equally seasonal survival challenge for staffing managers in the events and hospitality industry.
Time-critical delivery, anti-social hours, seven day-a-week operations and reliance on temporary team members all add to the difficulty of ensuring a successful festive season.
From 19 years’ experience supplying to some of the most prestigious venues and clients, here are our top ten tips to surviving the staffing jungle:
1. Bitesize chunks
Looking at the overall large number to fill by you and your team can be very daunting. Make sure it is broken down into bitesize chunks by, for example, each team members booking. If looking at 100 needed to be booked but there are 6 working on it, breaking that down to 16 each makes it suddenly seem much more achievable.
2. Maintain belief
The more you go towards success the more it will come towards you. Believing in a successful outcome will keep your mind open to creative solutions and how you can find resolutions for your team and clients. For example, if you have a shift with very unusual timings or location it is easy to lose belief that it will be staffed. It is amazing how often if you maintain belief that you find the team member it works perfectly for.
3. Positive language
Pressure can affect mojos and cause language to be negative. Simple signs of this happening is finding yourself consistently telling team members what not to do rather than what to do or seeing a large booking requirement as a negative rather than a positive thing.
Ensuring your language remains positive, for a simple example describing things as a challenge rather than a problem, will allow you to project positivity to all those around you improving performance and keeping a vibrant atmosphere.
4. Take a break
In intense periods it’s very easy to feel that you can’t leave your desk and have to crack on through. While hard work will undoubtedly be needed it is counter-productive to not have a break. Getting away from your desk for even 20 minutes will help recharge the creativity and improve your overall focus and productivity.
5. Celebrate wins (big or small)
It makes a huge difference to morale and reminds all the team, while in the depths of it, that they are doing a good job and their efforts are appreciated. It can literally be as small as a winning bell in the office, to free lunches or end-of-day drinks.
6. Question rather than assume
Classic saying of “assume makes an ass of out of u and me” is never more apt than in the staffing world. Never assume that just because the team are working at the same venue for the 10th time that it means all details are the same as the last time. Style of event, service and client requirements often create changes we need to make the team aware of. Never be scared to check.
7. Avoid emotional language with your team especially the “why” question
There will unfortunately always be times where team members let you down. As the hackles rise it is easy to find yourself asking emotional questions rather than focusing on getting the best outcome or resolution.
If you do start challenging team members “why are you late?” it will make them feel instantly defensive and got at. You can still ask them, using terminology such as “what caused you to be late?”, but always remember what you want to get out of the conversation: an engaged, positive team member who has learnt from the mistake made.
8. Keep perspective
Never easy to do when intensely involved and passionate about getting support right for your team and clients but crucial for your own well-being. Is that team member being 10 minutes late going to cause a life or death situation? While we work to and expect the highest standards, it is important to take a moment to get perspective back relieving the personal pressure on yourself.
9. Follow your systems but keep looking for greater efficiencies
When under pressure it’s easy to look at cutting corners by not following systems completely. If you do so it will undoubtedly cause short and long- term issues, both small and large. Make sure you keep on track, however do continue to look at how you are working and if administrative tasks are taking you hours look for more efficient ways to do them rather than accepting the status quo.
It’s easy to sit down and instantly start reacting to emails creating a situation where your day is purely reactionary, reducing both your overall effectiveness and feeling of achievement. Make sure before you switch your screen on (I do mine the evening before) you have planned your day and feel in control of what you want to achieve.
Latest industry thinking, job opportunities, events, case studies and client offers.