4 Ways to Keep Spirits Up During the Holidays Among Student Workers

By Allie Mitchell on November 29, 2016

The holidays are among us and that can mean many things. School is coming to a close, stores are beginning to restock for the upcoming holiday rush, and students are starting to look for temporary to longterm employment.

Students want the quick cash to be able to save or to buy presents with. Stores are starting to hire and stock up on help, knowing full well that they will need all the help they can get.


The holidays bring out the animal in today’s society; the malls are packed, stores have sales all over the place and some stores even stay open later than others to get those last minute shoppers. Although, when stores stay open later, that means that the stores open earlier, forcing the employees to get up at the crack of dawn to be faced with what comes with working in retail or any other job that comes within the customer service circle.

A few of the things employees deal with are rude customers, no sleep, and constant cleaning of the store (customers are most definitely not the tidiest people on earth). Sometimes employers don’t notice that their employees are in need of some motivation. The students want to know that they are taken care of in a way where they are displaying the emotion of being happy that they work there despite the insanity of the holidays.

While constant rude customers could make someone just leave and never come back, making it through a full day of holiday shoppers can be a tough task without the right incentive to do so. Employers can do a few things to make sure that their employee’s spirits are up; depending on your establishment these things can be varied or not used at all. You need to make things work for your place of business. Making sure you understand your employees is always a good way to know how to cater to them.

1. Food: Everyone knows that food is the way to many people’s hearts. Having food delivered to your store or company could do wonders for your employee’s motivation. Sometimes they come out of bed and straight to work so food is the last thing on their minds, but eventually they will feel hungry and knowing that their job cares about their well-being enough to provide them with food can do amazing things for how they perform for the rest of their shifts.

The only downside of getting food is that not many people are good judges of how much to food order, so sometimes people don’t get any food at all. So at least make sure you know a good estimation of what to order.

2. Incentives: Sometimes food isn’t enough to get your employees out of their funk. Sometimes you have to take it one step further and offer something with a little bit more weight. Employers may need to create opportunities so that their employees can reap benefits for their hard work.

Of course, during holiday times, depending on how your place of work operates, employees can get time and a half for most work days/nights, but offering bonuses may help out. Also, some other incentives to offer would be gift cards for high productivity and sales or maybe even an extra vacation day could motivate the right employee.

3. Flexibility: Don’t be a Grinch during the holidays. Make sure to be understanding and flexible with students. Know that yes they are not in school, but they do have families as well, so make sure you do as much as you can with trying to get them on the schedule while also understanding their need for certain days off.

Although, sometimes, some jobs require employees to work on certain days, know that sometimes things don’t always work out the way you want and things do come up.

4. Keeping an open mind: If your employees need to speak with you about something make sure to be there to listen. Maybe they are an out-of-state student and couldn’t go home for the holidays. Just because you are a manager or the boss doesn’t mean you can’t have feelings or have a chat with them in private.

On the other hand, pep talks to employees alone may not always do the trick. If the matter is more of a large scale issue, employers may need to speak to their staff as a whole and set goals and make plans so no one is confused or out of the loop. No one likes to be highly lost during the holiday rush; customers can be quite unforgiving.

The holidays are a joyous time, but they are also a highly stressful time if you work during them. Learning to balance during the holidays is the best way to get through them, even when customers have the shortest tempers ever.

By Allie Mitchell

Uloop Writer
Georgia State
23 | Georgia State Alumna || Biology Major| Seeking MPH after graduating| Aspiring writer| Lover of interesting conversations and funny people| Active reader of fiction"| Girlfriend to a wonderful marine

Follow Uloop

Apply to Write for Uloop News

Join the Uloop News Team

Discuss This Article

Get College Recruiting News Monthly

Back to Top

Log In

Contact Us

Upload An Image

Please select an image to upload
Note: must be in .png, .gif or .jpg format
Provide URL where image can be downloaded
Note: must be in .png, .gif or .jpg format

By clicking this button,
you agree to the terms of use

By clicking "Create Alert" I agree to the Uloop Terms of Use.

Image not available.

Add a Photo

Please select a photo to upload
Note: must be in .png, .gif or .jpg format