‘Tis the Season

No, not the Christmas season.  Not the hockey season.  Not the college basketball season.  It’s all of those, but it’s also cold and flu season.  One of the ironies of the retail business is that the busiest time of the year coincides with beginning of the period when there’s the most illness.  Everything moves indoors, at least in the cold-weather states, bringing germs and viruses inside too.  Business picks up and you’re surrounded by coughing, sneezing customers.  Staff calls in sick, putting more pressure on everyone else, who get run down and soon they (and you) are sick too. It’s a vicious circle.

Bob Negen, on his WhizBang! Training web site offers some good sense tips on cold and flu prevention. 

  • Keep a bottles of "waterless hand cleaner" at every work station.  This is the same stuff that hospital staff use between patients.  Make sure everyone uses it regularly.
  • Clean the cash register, computer terminals, door handles, and anything that people regularly touch with a disinfecting cleaner.  It’s available as a spray, or as pre-moistened towelettes.
  • Make sure the restrooms are stocked with plenty of paper towels and anti-bacterial soap. 
  • Consider paying for a flu shot for you and your staff and give them paid time to go and get it.  It’s cheap insurance.
  • Make sure you set the example for everyone else. 

This one is mine.  Don’t let yourself or your team get run down.  It’s tempting to put in lots of hours at this busy time of the year, but if you don’t take care of your nutrition, exercise, and sleep needs, you’ll get sick and the net result will be less hours worked, not more.  The same holds for your people.  For most of us, it’s a long winter and taking care of your health will keep it from seeming even longer. 

Remember, it’s only three and a half months until pitchers and catchers report for spring training.

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