Preparing for Holidays at Your FEC: 5 Tips to Train Your Staff

Rebecca Twomey
Oct 1, 2019 6:00 AM

It’s hard to believe that we’re almost to the most wonderful time of the year! Preparing for holidays is exciting, and the hype surrounding them is often energizing. But it can also feel daunting—especially for business owners and managers much like yourself.

The holiday rush unfortunately brings stress along with it: from staff, from customer expectations, from logistics. What’s exciting for others might feel like a whole lot of pressure to you. And that’s okay! (It’s normal.)

To help alleviate some of the pressure associated with preparing for the holidays at your family entertainment center or events facility, one of your key focuses should be on training your staff.

Preparing for Holidays at Your FEC: Creating Your Dream Team

When you opened your family entertainment center or events facility, or began managing it, you likely had the following dream: to serve customers by creating incredible guest experiences.

And while that dream is beautiful and noble in every way, the truth is: you can’t do it alone. You need a team to accomplish this goal. You need a dream team.

The thing is, a dream team doesn’t just happen. As wonderful as it would be for folks to simply get hired and fall into work naturally without skipping a beat, that rarely happens. Employees need training to be successful, especially at a family entertainment center.

Employees also need a plan. They need vision, guidance, mentoring, and focus. For more on creating vision and process,  check out the first chapter of our complimentary guide, 3 Simple Ways to Improve Revenue & Book More Parties at Your Family Entertainment Center.

5 Tips to Train Your Staff

Below are 5 tips to help you effectively train your staff and begin preparing for the holidays.

(Note: these tips are relevant all year round, not just during the holiday season!)

Staff-Training Tip #1: Share a Centralized PlayBook

Your staff needs guidance all the time, not just when they’re first hired. That’s why we recommend creating a centralized PlayBook that your entire team has access to.

To clarify: a PlayBook is not the same as a manual that’s created once and never updated again. (Or, updated once every 5-10 years).

Make your PlayBook digital and having “users” in your PlayBook that own certain parts. Sections you should consider include:

    • Sales
    • Marketing
    • Operations
    • Management
    • Training
    • And more

The goal here is to share processes, best practices, and strategies your team will use year-round. And, when those processes need some tweaking, it’s done immediately (and easily) since it’s digital!

Of course, don't forget to have a "preparing for holidays" section!

Staff-Training Tip #2: Hire Slowly, Fire Quickly

You may have heard the motto “hire slowly, fire quickly.” That’s because it’s all about having the right people on-board. Trust me, it will make all the difference.

As you’re preparing for holidays and getting plans in order, consider your current team:

      • Does everyone on the team fit?
      • Are all team members executing their role(s) effectively?
      • Is there a particular role you feel you're missing? Do you need new hires for busy season?

Now is the perfect time to make sure you have a dream team to work together through this joyous time. Remember: your employees are a reflection of your vision and your facility. If you have folks with bad attitudes or that don’t enjoy the work they do, it’s time to cut them loose!

Need help hiring? Our friends over at TrainerTainment are experts on this topic! They’re consultants in the family entertainment center industry and have years of experience working with thousands of facilities to recruit and hire the best staff!

Staff-Training Tip #3: Never Stop Training!

As redundant as this sounds: train, train, then train some more! Never assume that because someone was taught something once,  they’ll remember it time and time again. This is why a digital PlayBook is so important. It allows your staff access to processes and checklists at all times.

Create an on-boarding checklist and ramp-up plan for each position. This will allow for a smooth transition on both ends—for the person training or managing, and for the new employee.

Then, having a continued training plan in place. On a weekly, bi-weekly, and monthly basis, have check-points where you remind team members about specific areas of training. Then in September and October, begin preparing for holidays. Have a plan for staff that are responsible for sales and marketing, a plan for your managers, and a plan for staff working parties and events, and the rest of your team.

Schedule regular check-ins to make sure everyone is on the same page.

Staff-Training Tip #4: Huddle with Your Team

It’s important to stay connected to your employees on a daily or weekly basis, depending on the cadence of their schedules. This is especially important during busy season!

Having a daily huddle at the beginning of every day or the beginning of shifts will ensure everyone is up-to-date on everything going on, and provide an opportunity to build morale.

Structure your daily huddle so employees know what to expect and everyone stays on task. Consider reviewing what the flow of the day will look like, what parties and events are coming in, and review training topics like cleanliness, friendliness, and asking for customer feedback and reviews.

Staff-Training Tip #5: Recognize Good Work

If making customers feel special keeps them coming back to your facility, then making your staff feel special will keep them coming to work! 

Recognize employees that go above and beyond. Give special acknowledgement to team members that “wow” customers or those that are always extra cheerful or positive. Reward kindness and joy, and your facility will become a place people look forward to working at.

If you don’t already have an “employee of the month” program set up, now is a great time to start. You might also consider using your daily morning huddle to recognize employees from the day before for specific actions they took. “Mary went above and beyond to make the guest of honor feel special at her party—kudos to Mary!” goes a long way.

Plan for Success All Year

Preparing for holidays at your FEC is important but planning for success all year is even more critical!

We know it can be tough to juggle everything associated with managing your business. To make the sales and marketing side a bit easier for you, we just released a new guide: Monthly Events Calendar: A Year-Round, Fun-At-A-Glance Resource for Event Opportunities at Your Facility.

From event and party ideas to promotions, this guide provides a great base to get you started. It includes ideas for every single month of the year!

Click here or on the image below to download your copy.

Complimentary Guide: Monthly Events Calendar - A Year-Round, Fun-At-A-Glance Resource for Event Opportunities at Your Facility

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