Be Prepared to Handle Your Staffing Needs During the Holidays

Posted November 1, 2016

Holiday scheduling can lead to significant stress for businesses. If it is not dealt with correctly, it can not only keep the business from providing what clients and customers expect, but also generate strain among the workforce.

If a business manages its staff right, it should be able to weather the holiday rush of requests for time off. Since not handling the situation could lead to a damaged company brand and lower employee morale, it's imperative that a company takes a proactive approach to staffing during the holiday season.

Getting out in front of the problem

Many businesses, particularly those operating on a regular production schedule, have their holiday schedule planned well ahead of time. It's not unusual for companies to ask their employees to pick vacation days for the coming year in December. In some industries, this isn't possible, and schedules are made a few months in advance.

Handling the tsunami of time-off requests

If your business is hectic during the holidays or must be staffed around the clock, one way to keep from being short-staffed is to restrict the amount of time that can be taken off and accept employees' requests on a first-come, first-served basis. As early as September, supervisors can inform employees requests for time off must be made as soon as possible.

A company may not be capable of maintaining a complete staff during the holidays, but that doesn't mean it has to close or cut back on service. Spacing out your workers' vacation scheduling can alleviate any potential pain points.

For example, one employee can work in the morning during the holidays and a different employee can take over in the afternoon. A different option might be having one worker come in Monday and Tuesday and a different employee come in Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. A staggered schedule like this means having coverage while giving workers at least some of the time off that they want.

Giving employees holiday options

For some workers, a few extra bucks can be enough for them to forego time with friends and family during the holidays. Offering holiday pay differential is a way to keep staff on hand and happy at the same time. If your company uses this strategy, it should be a part of standard company policy and not a one-off way to convince a worker not to take off.

A company could also allow staff to work remotely, if possible. If your staff does not have to be on location, allowing them to work at home throughout the holidays can be an effective way to handle obligations without bringing in added staff. Telecommuting is a practical option only if the business has the capacity for it and there’s a means to ensure the workers are getting work done.

If your company is looking for some support staff during the upcoming holiday season, don't hesitate to contact us today to work with a full-service staffing agency!