Tips for Motivating your Team During Peak Season


Motivating your team becomes even more crucial during peak season. The sun’s here, people are out and about and visitors are arriving in their millions. From our research we’ve learnt that businesses in South Africa see double the amount of new customers, both local and international, during the festive season (find out more in this infographic). Your business is about to heat up – which is great news!

When you get busier it’s important to remember to keep your team motivated. It’s very easy for staff to become indifferent when there’s chaos, beautiful weather and cocktails are calling.

“We get extremely busy and we make sure our sales team is geared up to continue giving great service and are highly motivated for the season before hand.”

Tamburai, One of Each

Understanding the challenges your staff may face is incredibly valuable. A little empathy goes a long way and helps you work together to find the best way to overcome obstacles and move towards a happy, motivated team.

“Keeping our team excited, motivated and energised is our main focus as this directly impacts our guests experience.”

Kaylee, Eagles’ Nest

#YocoFamily members Tamburai (One of Each) and Kaylee (Eagles’ Nest) put a lot of focus on team motivation during the busy season. Here’s some ways to help understand where your team’s coming from and keep up morale.


Let’s be honest, no matter how dedicated you are to your job, working during summer while your friends and family are on holiday can get you down at times. This can seriously affect happiness levels during the festive season.

Top tip:

When it comes to motivating your team, make the work environment fun and welcoming and do activities to encourage teamwork. The more the workplace feels like a family, the less your team will wish they were on holiday.

“I think our team’s favourite part of the training session is a personalised, focused wine tasting by our winemaker as well as a 4×4 trip to the top of our mountain and vineyards – this creates an awesome experience for them which increases morale and enthusiasm.”

Kaylee, Eagles’ Nest

Language barriers

South Africa has 11 official languages. Add to that the combination of languages from all over the world that comes with tourism season, and you have a lot of information to process!

Your team may experience some frustration in communicating, especially when things are busy and tensions are high.

Top tip:

Encourage your team to be patient and to double check the customer’s understanding. If they are unsure whether a customer has understood them, a good solution is to confirm by phrasing the question differently or asking the customer to repeat back what’s being communicated.

Make sure everyone on the team knows the languages that the others can speak, so that they know who to call to assist in different situations. You could also put up signs with common questions in different languages such as “pay here” or “on special”.

Exhaustion and general tiredness

Putting in extra hours and being busy can really take it out of you, especially if you’re on your feet all day. If your team seems a bit cranky this could very well be the reason.

Top tip:

Make taking breaks a part of the company culture. We know that when things are crazy it can seem a bit counter-intuitive but regular breaks make for happier, more productive employees. You can read about the science behind it in this article.

Training new staff while things are busy

It’s great to hire additional staff to help ease the workload and keep efficiency up. However, do keep in mind that taking in a lot of new information and learning the ropes in a busy environment can be challenging.

Top Tip:

Set aside time when it’s quiet to show them how things are done, perhaps before you open for the day. This little bit of extra effort can really pay off in the long run.

Have a checklist to make sure you don’t leave anything out and go through each item thoroughly, from where the bathrooms are to how your point of sale system works (luckily Yoco is super simple and easy to use).

It’s also useful to help them understand and love your product as much as you do. Let them know what’s special about it and offer them freebies if you can afford it.

Want to find out how Yoco can help your small business get ready for peak season? Visit


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