Q: My staff is lethargic after about 5 hours of selling during an 8 hour shift. What can we do to improve productivity and improve their morale?
A: For any 8 hour shift, I like to give 2 30-minute breaks instead of a 1 hour full break whenever business allowed it. Let’s say someone comes in at 9am for a 9-6 shift. Giving them a half hour lunch break at 1130/12 followed by a second half hour around 2/2:30 helps give you the flexibility to get people’s breaks out on time, as well as the ability to give people shorter breaks more often. Depending on your environment or local law, if you also give your staff a 15 minute unpaid break, you can throw that in the mix somewhere in between.
In any position I have had, I have found more often than not that staff generally will appreciate having more than one break a day (especially if there are on-site food facilities).
Another approach that I have found has worked well is to give staff who want to take their entire break at once a one hour break later in their shift, and their shorter break earlier on in the shift. This again allows for the staff to have regular rest periods throughout their shifts.