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Did the holidays last year find you overstressed and understaffed as employees took (legitimate) time off during November and December? The work had to get done, but you had a tough time juggling everyone’s schedules and the holes missing employees left. It ended up more stressful for everyone left behind as the year ended and you tried to wrap things up. So how can you avoid that same problem this year?

  • Plan as much as possible. You know people will ask for time off and productivity may well slow down, so get ahead of it as much as you can. That may involve several levels of planning. Have your policy on when employees can ask for leave clear. Do they have to ask at least a month ahead during busy times? May they figure out a plan with co-workers where Allan covers Michael’s shift so he can make his flight home to see his family? Is it done by seniority or first-come, first-served? Figure it out, make it clear and stick with it. To that end…
  • Use temporary help. Here’s a perfect time to connect with your local staffing agency to bring in temporary seasonal staff to help with your needs. This takes the burden off employees who feel torn between taking time off and leaving their colleagues and company in the lurch, and it allows the office to run more smoothly rather than functioning without a full staff. As a bonus, fostering a strong relationship with a staffing agency like PrideStaff Thousand Oaks/Ventura County means when you have other hiring needs at various times of the year, you’ll have quality candidates and knowledgeable hiring experts at your fingertips.
  • Keep it flexible. In this day and age, many employees prefer a more flexible schedule. During the holidays, when time outside the office becomes more demanding, increased flexibility may work best for everyone. Consider letting employees work from home — employees have internet, laptops and smartphones they can use to stay in contact, check up on clients and customers, and even schedule a remote meeting if necessary. Think about temporary part-time or flexible schedule hours as well.

The holidays, with all their (sometimes forced) togetherness for so many of us, don’t have to put a dent in your team’s productivity. A little planning, some leeway on “business hours” and working with the professional recruiters at PrideStaff Thousand Oaks Ventura County will ensure the team stays focused and busy into the new year.

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