You leave for work and hit heavy traffic on the way in. Your mug of coffee spills all over in the elevator. Fifteen urgent voicemails welcome you to your desk. Your computer decides to randomly shut down. Numbers from last month’s close don’t add up. Your to-do list grows just by looking at it. We’ve all been there.
Bad days happen to everyone. Call it karma or coincidence, these days will happen to everyone. Your employees won’t always be smiling. Your customers won’t always be happy. No matter how much you love your business, you’ll encounter days when you wish you could be anywhere but at work.
To make matters worse, when you’re a small business owner, you can’t really afford to have a bad day. A few negative attitudes in a staff of three people are undoubtedly going to make an impact on your daily totals.
SEE ALSO: How To Develop A Happy, Productive Team
Instead of trying to prevent bad days, which is like attempting to hold back the rain, seek to develop a series of decompression techniques to deploy when you notice thunderclouds on the horizon.
1. Get Out!
Walking is good for the body and the mind. Encourage your staff, especially those who sit for the majority of the day, to get up and walk around.
There’s nothing like fresh air and sunshine to snap someone out of a bad mood. Encourage outdoor breaks by setting up a table and some chairs outside. No easy way to access the outdoors? No problem. Grab a few plants (ferns or ivy work well in artificial light) and scatter them around the office. It will brighten the atmosphere, the air quality, and your team.
Consider designating a walking path around the business property. Try to hook your employees up with discounts at surrounding businesses within walking distance. Encourage two to three minute walking breaks each hour and exemplify the behavior by taking a small amount of time for yourself each morning or afternoon to walk around and say hello to your staff.
Sometimes all it takes to bring someone’s day from bad to better is a quick venting session with a trusted comrade.
Foster an open-door relationship with your staff and provide break areas away from the sales floor for employees to utilize when necessary. Take notice of your team’s demeanor and attitude and invite individuals into one-on-one meetings when you notice negativity.
You don’t need to be their best friend; simply listening and providing feedback can be enough to bring your staff to positive levels.
3. Take A Moment For Yourself
A long, deep breath can relax even the most anxious thoughts. When you find yourself getting frustrated, focus on your breathing. Breathe in as deep as you can, hold it for a beat, and then slowly let it out.
When you sense your temper flaring, take a break away from others, alone, to reflect. Separate from your coworkers and customers for a few minutes. The “time out” space can be a designated break room or even something as simple as a bathroom stall.
Sometimes, being alone is the best way to examine the “why” behind a bad day. Allow yourself and others the opportunity to participate in short moments of self-reflection.
Feeling flustered, overwhelmed, or stressed? Take a look around your workplace. Do you see clutter and dust? Toss yourself into a mini cleaning spree.
Removing physical clutter from your environment can help declutter your mind. A clean surface begs for productivity. Refocus negative energy on tough stains and dirt. Your mood, and your office, will thank you.
Turn on some uplifting music and consider allowing employees to rotate playlists of their choosing. Depending on your business, this technique can act not only as a mood-lightener but also a customer draw.
People love small businesses that offer unique, customized environments. What better way to showcase your personality and the personality of your staff than through the universal, soul-loving language of music?
6. Go home
When techniques and resolution attempts fail, it’s time to call the game. Better to lose a day of productivity than risk losing repeat customers and negatively affecting other coworkers.
Try to bolster negative moods as best you can, but when the bad attitude continues, send the offending party home with well-intended wishes for a good night’s rest and a better day tomorrow.
The inevitable truth is that not every day can be perfect. Wage a war of peace against negative attitudes by working to create an organizational culture that employs solid, effective decompression techniques. Executed properly, these techniques can help draw the good out of a bad day and ensure the only thing your customers see is a happy, welcoming environment.