BLACK FRIDAY | Keeping employee productivity sky high

Employee productivity can plummet on Black Friday.


This year it falls on 23rd November 2018.

With retail businesses fighting to provide customers with the best possible deals, employees may be thinking about the wonderful things they can buy and how much money they can save, rather than the work they should be doing. 

The biggest Black Friday Challenges for employers are:

  • Employees shopping online during working time;
  • Employees using work equipment to look up deals and bargains; and
  • Employees feigning sickness to go shopping.  

So what is the best way to address these issues? 

The answer is to plan ahead.

mobile phones at work
Black Friday falls on the 23rd November this year. It's important to plan ahead.

Here are three essentials things to do before Black Friday comes around: 

  1. Draw your employees’ attention to your rules on internet and mobile phone use

It’s worth reminding employees of the company rules in your Employee Handbook, in particular regarding internet, email and computers at work. Whilst some occasional personal use during rest breaks may be tolerated, your policy should make it clear that work systems are for business use and excessive personal use is not permitted and will be treated as misconduct.

Similarly, you should have clear rules on mobile phones. Your rules may state that personal mobile phones should be switched off or in silent mode during working hours, or alternatively you may set out that calls and texts on personal mobile phones should wherever possible be limited to formal rest breaks.

Whether you decide to be a bit more flexible on this occasion is up to you but make sure that everyone knows what is expected of them and what the consequences are if they do breach the rules.

2. Remind employees how malingerers will be treated

In your sickness absence policy, it should be clear that employees who deliberately fail to attend work without proper excuse or in breach of management instructions will be committing gross misconduct which could result in dismissal without notice or payment in lieu.

Remember that if they do call in sick, do not automatically jump to conclusions. Hold a return to work interview to find out what the real reason for their absence is and take the appropriate steps. 

3. Remember to enjoy in some festive fun

We need rules to make sure employees are productive, but we should also remember that the workplace should also be a fun place to work.

Think outside the box to find effective ways to boost productivity, for example:

  • Get employees excited about your Christmas party
  • Organise raffles
  • Have a fancy dress competition
  • Arrange dress down days
  • Provide some free food
  • Think about some flexible working options, etc.

Find what best works for your organisation and your staff.

To discuss your workplace challenges, seek advice from our HR helpline. Contact us to find out how we can help your organisation.