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Blog: Navigating a seamless festive season

1 December 2023

The festive season is fast approaching, and some businesses use the period between Christmas and New Year for a shutdown, whether because of reduced demand, personal renewal or both.

For other businesses, this period can mean a reduction in services or, on the other side of the spectrum, it’s all hands-on deck as it’s their busiest time of the year.

Regardless, this period presents unique challenges for all organisations striving for a seamless festive season and a smooth transition into 2024. 

Thoughtful planning and strategic preparation are key to ensuring a seamless Christmas and New Year period and setting the stage for a successful start to 2024. 

In readiness, here are a few tips:

Pre festive season
Use the lead-up to the holiday season to connect with your clients, customers, staff and suppliers by expressing gratitude for their support and providing information about your upcoming plans. This will help maintain strong relationships.

Ensure business continuity 
For those businesses shutting down or scaling back, we recommend reviewing your business continuity plan to ensure your organisation is equipped and ready to maintain essential functions over the festive season. The plan should provide a clear roadmap for the shutdown period, including an outline of objectives, deadlines and initiatives for the first few weeks of the new year. 

If relevant, to manage service expectations, ensure all stakeholders, including staff, clients and suppliers, are well-informed about your operating dates and times well in advance. 

Clearly articulate any changes in business hours or service availability, managing expectations to prevent any last-minute disruptions. Ensure automatic email responses share the same key messages and dates of return to business.

Prepare for the unexpected 
Crises occur when they're least expected, so a crisis communication plan is necessary for every organisation. 

Review and ensure your crisis communication plan and protocols are up to date. If not, Hughes can help review or develop a tailored plan in preparation for a potential crisis or emergency.

Take this opportunity to remind relevant team members of key elements of your crisis communication plan and ensure they’re contactable if needed. Crisis management plans should focus on the company's response and how it will communicate to its stakeholders in a crisis.

During the festive season
This is a time for carefully monitoring risk and, if you’re operating during this period, ensuring you continue to engage with customers, staff and suppliers.

While many of your stakeholders might be on holiday, those who might pose a risk to your business aren’t necessarily taking a break. For example, it can be a prime time for cyber-attacks and business thefts. 

If needed, be ready to implement your business continuity or crisis communication plan and ensure key people are contactable during the festive season.

Post festive season
If you shut down or scale back during the festive season, ensure that you bring the team back together early in the new year to engage them and re-energise efforts. 

This is also the time to effectively execute the customer engagement plan developed before the Christmas break. 

By focusing on effective communication, strategic planning and thoughtful consideration for employees and stakeholders, businesses can successfully navigate the holiday season and position themselves for success in the year ahead. 

Embrace the spirit of the festive season, foster a positive work culture, and set the stage for a prosperous and productive new year.


Catherine Herrman

Hughes | Consultant

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