Keeping it together during the holiday season is difficult enough as a business leader without the added pressure of managing employee vacation time.

If they are not handled correctly, however, holiday vacations may keep a company from delivering to customers and trigger internal strife. Fortunately, holiday scheduling and staffing doesn’t need to be a massive source of stress from November to January.

Consider the following tips.

Plan ahead

Many companies have their holiday staffing schedule set ahead of time. Some businesses mandate that staff members pick vacation days in December for the upcoming year, while others require vacation selections to be made three to five months ahead of time.

If you are going to ask employees to plan the vacation months beforehand, be sure to explain how planning ahead benefits them and ask them for input on how to implement such a system.

Embrace diversity

The holiday season is based around religious holidays, and when everyone on your staff practices the faith, they tend to all want off at the same time.

Obviously, your company should be embracing diversity as a matter of course, but one of the added bonuses of having a diverse staff is a diversity of faith-based holidays, and, therefore, time-off needs. For instance, Eastern Orthodox Christians celebrate Christmas on a different week than Protestants and Catholics.

Stagger staffing levels

Your company might not be capable of maintaining a full staff throughout the entire holiday season, but that doesn’t have to mean shutting down production or cutting back service. To avoid a severe productivity impact, stagger your vacation-affected schedule. For example, you can have some employees cover the morning shift during the holidays and have others take the afternoon shift.

A different option is to have one set of employees work Monday and Tuesday and a different set work Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. With a staggered schedule, your positions will always be covered, and concurrently, you can give staff members the time off they need during the holidays.

Offer a pay differential

For some people, the promise of a bigger paycheck is much more attractive than taking time off. These folks may readily embrace the chance to make time-and-a-half or even double time. If you need round-the-clock staffing, this can be a useful option.

Offer remote work arrangements

With today’s technology, the modern workplace isn’t limited to a physical location. Business demands might mandate that your staff is on-site throughout the year. But staffing and business factors might allow for some of your employees to work from home, getting their job duties done in between online shopping and running to the mall.

Maintain a pool of seasonal workers

For industries that see a surge in business during the holiday season, maintaining a pool of seasonal workers is a must. In fact, your company should make an effort to keep in touch with part-time workers throughout the year, so they can be accessed as needed or even brought in to interview for full-time positions.

Cornerstone Staffing Solutions is here to help!

At Cornerstone, we can be your company’s connection to seasonal staffing help. Please contact us today to discuss your company’s holiday staffing plans.

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