Top five tips to ensure bar staff have a happy Christmas

Young people with glasses of champagne at Christmas party

The Licensed Trade Charity, which provides a free support helpline for pub and bar staff, is offering tips for people managing teams in bars and pubs over Christmas

With this time of year often stressful and busy, these tips will help ensure staff, as well as customers, can make the most of the festive period.

1. Know what issues staff might be facing

Christmas can be a difficult time for those working in the drinks trade, and knowing what staff worry about at this time of year can be helpful. Around 50% of people accessing support in December 2016 through the Licensed Trade Charity website and helpline were seeking advice on money problems or financial support, with housing issues the next biggest area of concern. In January 2017, the number of people seeking advice on money problems or financial assistance rose even higher, accounting for nearly 60% of enquiries.

2. Look out for warning signs

With bar staff working long hours at Christmas and under pressure to ensure everyone has a great time, it is important to be mindful of the health and wellbeing of you and your staff. If your staff show signs that are out of character – for example anger or irritability when they are normally placid, or becoming withdrawn – there may be a problem. A Samaritans study revealed that almost 50% of men feel depressed over Christmas. If you suspect any staff are showing signs of depression make sure you let them know that the Licensed Trade Charity is here to listen and support if they call its helpline, with six free counselling sessions available if necessary.

3. Flexible working hours

Two thirds (64.7%) of UK professionals dislike working over the Christmas period, most stating that they don’t like missing out on family time. By scheduling the Christmas rota weeks in advance that staff can access, it will allow the flexibility of them arranging with you to swap shifts if they need to and ultimately maintain a happier team.

4. Give something back

Organising a charity initiative that all staff can participate in can put things into perspective and add a sense of community. For example, collecting goods for food banks or donating gifts to children’s charities can shift focus towards doing positive things, help employees appreciate the important things and add an additional sense of pride at working for the company.

5. Help is at hand!

Christmas can be a particularly stressful time but always remember that there is help at hand for you and your staff, with someone willing to listen and provide support. Let your staff know about the Licensed Trade Charity helpline – 0808 801 0550 – which is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, even on Christmas Day. You can talk about anything, including health, relationships, housing and debt.

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