New case study: Children's Miracle Network Hospitals

Relax yourself, the holiday season is over

Yay its 2014Is it February yet? Just about! That means we made it through the holiday season and we’re now firmly in 2014. Phew….

Some of you may remember the post back in October (Brace Yourselves, Customers Are Coming!) detailing a few tips and tricks on how to survive the holiday shopping extravaganza. Well, I’m happy to say, we made it through the busiest time of the year, and so here’s a postmortem based on my experience of the 2013 holiday season:

  • Plan ahead and set goals!

planAheadThese two things are so very important to success that I can’t stress them enough. There’s so many bumps in the road that could be avoided by setting goals and sticking to them. And those bumps have the potential to become mountains. If you find yourself embarking on that uphill battle, go back to your list and find out what needs to happen first. Take on one thing at a time, and get it done.

  • Training and usable resources!

However you train your staff (and continue to train for improvement), understand that your policies and documents will be “living,” do not treat the ideas as if they’re forever set in stone.  You will likely edit it, and then reedit it, several times. Policies will change, toolsets will change, and the requirements of the position could change. There could be any number of reasons as to why you will need to revise your training material. Just remember to keep it updated and notify your team if there’s any changes.  A good training document, and the ability to learn and be nimble with improvements, can often equate to a successful team.

  • Delegate the work!

As much as I want to, and as difficult as it is to admit, I can’t handle everything myself. My plate just isn’t that big. A very valuable lesson that I learned over the past 4 months is the art of delegation. Don’t let yourself or your team get overwhelmed. If there’s someone, or a few, that are particularly good at certain aspects of the job, go ahead and ask that they handle that part. You can also teach members of your team how to do something that’s on your to-do list. Not only does that alleviate some of the work you have to do in the future, but it likely gives that person a valuable skill that they can carry with them.

  • Rally the troops!

braveheart460Mid-to-end of the year / busy season, when you’re in that final push, everyone is going to be tired and threadbare. A word of encouragement can go a long way. Most people enjoy a good pat on the back, and it can do great things for the morale of the team.  Come up with incentives. Continue to coach, and promote learning, but also give praise freely, and reward when you can.

  • Listen, acknowledge, implement!

If your team is telling you that something isn’t working, listen to them. Acknowledge what they’re saying and do your own research to find out if you can replicate the problem. Get feedback from your team on ways to fix the issue as the group understands it, that way you can make an informed decision on how to handle the situation.

And last, but most definitely not least:

  • Breathe and have fun!!

Here at Metaverse Mod Squad, it’s easy to enjoy your job. At some point, you will likely wonder whether or not it fits the term ‘job’ because it sure doesn’t feel like one. But that doesn’t mean that things can’t or won’t get stressful. Have those work appropriate games and activities ready, share your favorite recently found Vines (I still chuckle at the Batdad Show & Tell one or YouTube videos (I’m looking at you, Josh).

urlAll in all, we did it! The chaos is over, and the holiday rush has subsided.  We’ve survived to tell the tale, and we can take the knowledge and improve the future!

Now everyone relax, take a breather, and start making a game plan for 2014’s holiday season, because it will be here before you know it.

Michelle Bacon
Project Manager

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