Staffing Is A Key Concern In The Approach To The Holiday Period

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Your business may have numerous reasons why there are not enough staff available to populate the business and perform functions. Still, staff shortages are a current common feature in plenty of industries.

Staff taking leave, terminations and resignations may leave your business looking a bit lean in terms of personnel and impact your ability to deliver the business’s products and services promptly. Plus, hiring, training and onboarding new staff take time – which may not be a luxury that you have available.

Knowing when your business may be at its most overwhelming and/or overloaded can provide an advantage, though.

You know how much manpower may be required to deliver your business’s services during these times. For example, a coffee shop may know that the period between 6 AM to 9.30 am is when most customers are served but that orders drop off for an hour afterwards. That might be a good time to start a trainee’s shift.

Your business should also prioritise time management during staffing issues. There may be tasks that can be completed before staff take leave or if they are tasks that can wait until their return.

If a tradesman knows that his apprentice will not be available to assist with a potential two-man job, the tradesman should schedule appropriately or try to find an alternative replacement for the job.

Plan and communicate with your staff your best course of action. Your priority lies in assessing whether or not your business can achieve its goals with the least amount of the most valuable resources available during this time.

Ensure that the effect that lack of staff might have on your turnaround time is addressed so that

customers aren’t left in the lurch. Some strategies you can implement to avoid being understaffed during busy periods may include:

  • Putting policies into place around leave requests (e.g. requests must be made four weeks in advance, the maximum number of people that can be off simultaneously, etc.).
  • Give senior and junior staff the same opportunity to request leave.
  • Keep transparent about the expectations around working during holiday periods – if it is not feasible for full-time staff to take four weeks off from their position after the business’s mandatory leave during their closedowns, ensure staff are aware of this.
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