For most of our clients, the busy season keeps you running from start to finish. Often, you don’t have the benefit of adjusting ‘in the moment’ to what your operation has in store for you. Despite all your preparation, there are always some surprises that you just can’t plan for. Taking a time-out at the end of season and doing even a little end of season recap can do wonders for planning your next year! Here are five of the most common challenges to watch out for when planning for next season:

1. Hire staff that stays.
Attrition can be very costly to any organization. For seasonal teams, this can be even more painful. Take a look at why you may have had drop off in your staff, and adjust for next year. Many factors, ranging from poor hiring practices to leadership issues, can affect retention. To avoid staffing issues, it’s crucial to set clear expectations early in the hiring process, especially availability. Many management teams across the industry really struggle with getting through the onboarding process just to find out that their seasonal staff won’t be available to finish the season. Mixing up your staff with more senior, part-time or retirees can help avoid the pitfall of the back-to-school blues.

2. Hire for performance.
When hiring, you should always hire for performance over experience. While you can teach anyone to complete a task, you can’t teach personality. Engaging with guests is an integral part of your front line team’s performance. Set the bar on what is expected, and then follow up. Remember that you have to train your staff throughout the entire season, not just at the beginning.

3. Connect to your mission.
Whether your objectives are sales or service driven, be sure to continually connect your team to what your mission is. This can be done through daily updates on performance results and by asking your staff what they are doing to support your mission. Check to see when you’ve delivered your ‘mission’ message that you have also connected your staff to why their performance matters. The more connected they are, the greater your chances of getting results.

4. Set a structure for success with successful morning meetings.
The top performing teams in the country have the strongest structure for success, and it starts with consistent morning meetings. Content needs to include information about how your organization, teams, and individuals are doing. Meetings also need to have key information about what is happening in your operation. Staff feel more confident when they know what to expect each day. Get your team to engage in morning meetings and share their own great performances. Discuss the real challenges and WINs in your operations. The strength of your teams’ performance can absolutely be measured by the strength of your morning meetings. Decide whether this is something that needs some revamping for next season.

5. Daily coaching keeps fuel in the tank.
If you aren’t consistently helping your staff keep their eye on the ball, they will lose sight of it. Even your top performers can benefit from a daily ‘reset’ to get engaged and dialed in for the day. Take a look at how well you are leading the charge each morning, and how well you help maintain focus from open to close. Celebrating WIN’s throughout the day goes a long way toward keeping staff motivated–and when they’re motivated, they’re more likely to feel, and be, successful. When your team sees that you are really paying attention, they will too.

Remember, there is no magic pill that carries you from the beginning to the end of season. You’ll always need to adjust in ‘real time’ to respond to what is happening in your organization, but a little prep never hurts. To stay up-to-date on the latest news and tips for your organization, follow us at DEK Leadership.