Black Friday 2021 is going to be bigger than ever. No doubt we will all want to treat ourselves after the last 18 months and Black Friday and Cyber Monday are the ideal opportunity to do that.

However, the last time we checked, Friday is also a working day. So, there are some HR and people management things to consider. If you’re a manager, team leader, HR director or business owner, you might want to keep these pointers in mind in the run up to the Big Day.

And, if you get to the end of our article and think you need some HR support, we’re here for you. We work to put the human in HR and treat people as such – with fairness and integrity. Our work does more than tick boxes; it goes above and beyond for our clients and their workforces. Get in touch today to see how we can help you:

Let’s get into it Black Friday and HR…

Black Friday is a ‘normal’ working day

Unless you work in retail, Black Friday is a normal working day.

You may find that some staff may want to book the day as holiday so they can go bargain hunting. We wish we were as dedicated to finding those bargains! Others may value a little flexibility during the working day to nab that online discount.

Whatever your approach, be clear on your expectations. You can say to your teams, “I’m giving you an extra 15 minutes on lunch to do a bit of online shopping if you like.” Something as simple as that will go a long way! And for those who won’t be buying anything, they’ll enjoy a little extra free time no doubt.

Be fair and consistent and remind everyone that the normal ‘rules’ apply.

Be COVID-safe this Black Friday

Don’t forget about COVID (as if we could). Have you got your COVID secure measures in place? This is to protect both staff and customers. This is especially important for those working in physical retail spaces.

If you need some guidance on keeping staff and the workplace safe, visit the ACAS website.

Don’t let Black Friday negatively impact emotional wellbeing

This week is International Stress Awareness Week which is timely because it’s important to watch out for rising stress levels in the run up to, and on, Black Friday. It can be a chaotic time for businesses, from a variety of sectors from retail to manufacturers and web support teams. Taking steps to reduce workplace stress is a no-brainer. It means your employees are happy and well which means they’re productive and committed. That is a superpower of a business so to neglect their emotional wellbeing could be a huge risk.

Try to consider the ins and outs of their working lives. Can you do anything to improve this, given the increased demand Black Friday brings?

For example, if you run an independent clothes shop, you’re going to have an increase in customers. Can you bring in more staff to work Black Friday to ease some of the pressure off your permanent staff? Perhaps you can provide food for your employees through Black Friday week so it’s one less thing for them to worry about.

Also, encourage them to talk about any concerns they have with you, their manager or your HR Director. Creating a safe and positive environment for them to speak freely will alleviate any potential issues. It will also allow you to solve these issues before they become actual problems.

Finally, #BeKind. Being nice to people isn’t just a good thing to do, it’s the right thing to do. There’s so much focus on mental health in the workplace at the moment so don’t forget that during Black Friday week.

Read here about Why Being Nice Makes Good Commercial Sense

Black Friday and financial wellbeing

One in four employees say they lose sleep about financial concerns.

So, whilst Black Friday might seem like a good idea, overspending is a real potential. There is no point in businesses spending money attempting to improve their employees’ mental wellbeing without a focus on financial health too.

Eight out of 10 take financial worries into the workplace so you have a responsibility as a good employer to care for your employees’ financial wellbeing.

Like we said earlier in our mental wellbeing tip, create a safe space where your staff feel they can talk to you about money. Being able to share their financial woes will no doubt bring some relief to them. You can also work out a plan, recommend them to financial help and be there as a supportive guide.

Finally, providing a benefits platform could be a positive approach to take. One that provides discounts, deals and special offers all year round for your employees will put pounds back in their pockets. Benefits Cloud is our employee benefits platform and it costs as little as £2 per employee a month. Find out more about Benefits Cloud here

Black Friday and your community

Finally, and going on a little bit of limb, but how about counteracting Black Friday completely? We all know life is getting more expensive so ask yourself, and employees, if they really need the latest gadgets. Charities have come under enormous pressure in the last 18 months and have lost out on millions in fundraising.

Perhaps you could suggest to employees that, rather than spending loads on Black Friday deals, they could donate to a charity? You could even collectively choose a charity close to you, as we do with St Barnabas. (Find out about our charity work here)

What about a workplace fundraiser? Everyone likes cakes in the office so say hello to a bake sale!

And, if that doesn’t wash, you could suggest a clear out. Here’s what we’re thinking:

  • Your employee buys a new toaster in the Black Friday deals
  • Normally they would take the old toaster to the tip and think nothing more of it
  • With your intervention and charity suggestion, they take it to their local charity shop/shelter/refuge etc.
  • The toaster gets a new owner and doesn’t go to landfill – it helps someone else in the world.
  • You get to feel a little smug/happy/content that you’ve done a good deed.
  • Everyone is a winner!

Try it, see how you get on!

Get in touch

Black Friday can present some HR challenges but none of them are difficult to overcome, if done properly. If you feel like you need some guidance navigating these, we’re here to help.   0203 667 7270