Labor Day – ahhhhh! The last gasp of summer before we ready ourselves for falling leaves and chillier temperatures. It’s a day of rest in honor of all of us working folks. And, when you take a moment to think about it, Labor Day is such a lovely concept. It recognizes that we all need time to recharge. Even if we love our work, it’s good to take time away to nurture other parts of our lives – friends, family, hobbies, etc. But what does any of this have to do with customer service?
I think it’s important that we embrace the spirit of Labor Day more than once a year.
I think that businesses would see a lot more success and less employee turnover if they encouraged their staff to take a break – a real break (more on that later). Staff will be more present and deliver far better customer service if they have taken a moment or two to recharge their batteries.
Happy people deliver great customer service.
There are some companies that require their employees to take a day off every quarter that isn’t connected to their vacation days. That’s great, but unfortunately, many companies can’t afford this kind of policy. If you can’t give employees time off, what can you do on a daily basis to encourage taking a true break?
Let’s take a moment to think about what most people do when they take a break at work. Most trade one screen for another. Meaning, they get off of their work computer and immediately pick up their phone. Many will stay seated at their desk or workspace and get pulled right back into work. This doesn’t strike me as restful. In fact, it sounds frustrating.
Let your staff know that you care about them and want them to have the best experience possible at work. Many people don’t take breaks because they feel like they can’t. They think they always need to appear busy at work, which just leads to exhaustion and grumpy employees. You can change this!
Give them ideas
Ideas for what to do on breaks can be posted in a break room and emailed out to everyone on staff. Ask your staff for more ideas and include their input in your next team email. Here are some ideas to start you off:
- Change your scenery – go outside, leave your workspace
- Is your office near a park? Take advantage of it!
- Eat a healthy snack
- Call an old friend for a quick chat
- Try a few desk yoga poses.
- If staff members’ hobbies are portable, encourage them to make it a part of their break time. Knitting, for instance, is a great way to take a true break at work.
- Download an app that will encourage movement
- Find a quiet place to meditate or do deep breathing exercises
- Color in a coloring book
- Water the office plants
- Listen to music
- Read a magazine or book – no screens!
Make the break room more attractive
Break rooms can be pretty grim places. What can you do to make the break room more inviting to your staff? At the bare minimum, the room should always be clean and fresh smelling. How can you go the extra mile as a leader to make the space a true respite from a hectic day? Get creative and don’t hesitate to ask your team for their opinions.
Start a Walking Club
A walking club can meet once a week or every day! Short brisk walks or long nature walks – whatever works best for your team! There are many benefits to getting outside in a group to walk:
- There is safety in numbers
- Great ideas happen when you move – movement wakes up the brain!
- Your employees will get to know one another and work better as a team
Now that you have some ideas, get busy and take a break!
And by the way, we do practice what we preach! Check out this article to see how our CEO relaxed over the Labor Day weekend.
Brandi Hand, Queen of Visibility, Red-Carpet Learning Systems
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