You’ve made it! The hustle and bustle of the holiday season is almost over. Your schedule is booked and you’re fully staffed for the rest of the last minute shoppers and travelers. Congratulations!
The holiday season might have come and gone in the blink of an eye but your need for a full schedule hasn’t. You have temporary workers on their way out the door and full time employees itching for a break after the holiday madness. For some business owners, getting the schedule back to normal in January is harder than managing it during the holidays.
Here are a few tips to help you recover from the holidays without skipping a beat in your scheduling.
Make the Temporary Worker’s Schedules Public
What is the official last day for each of your temporary workers? When will you be back to normal staffing-wise?
You probably know the answers to these questions, but does your staff? If not, it’s time to fill them in. Your team wants to know what’s waiting for them after the New Year. After all, that time of year can still be busy with crowds and requests. Your staff might be more concerned about the lack of extra help in January than they were in December.
Make it public by updating your online scheduling app to show your staffing needs and availability.
Keep Asking for Time Off Requests
Many employees wait until after the holiday rush to take their vacations. However, not everyone will tell you about their tentative plans until a few weeks before they anticipate traveling.
Keep asking for time off requests in advance. The more you can encourage your employees to let you know their plans, the more likely you are to hear their needs with enough time to fill your schedule.
Offer More Trainings
January poses a new challenge – returns and disgruntled customers. The festivities are over. The most joyful time of the year has passed. Now, your employees will come face-to-face with even more stressed out and exhausted customers. Without having a full staff to take the heat, your team will come undone.
Training your employees on how to handle these situations is invaluable. The better you can teach your employees what to expect and what’s expected of them, the more likely they will be able to manage things better – even when you’re not fully staffed.
Trainings take the heat off your employees, making it easier for them to do their job efficiently. This means, even without your temporary workforce, your team can still get through the day effectively – without you needing a full roster of team members.
Wrapping Up the Holidays
January is more lean than most other times of the year for retailers. Keeping a fully stocked schedule isn’t always an option – nor is it ideal given the departure of temporary employees. By asking your permanent team members when they need time off in advance and training them to handle the changing demands in the New Year, you’re sure to have a smooth transition.
Author Profile Jon Forknell is the Vice President and General Manager of Atlas Business Solutions, Inc., a software marketing company specializing in employee scheduling software, including ScheduleBase employee scheduling software, and other business software solutions. In the past, Jon has been recognized by the U.S. Small Business Administration as a SBA Young Entrepreneur of the Year. Atlas Business Solutions was named as one of Software Magazine’s Top 500 Software Companies in 2004 through 2007 and again in 2010, 2013 and 2014.