How to Overcome Holiday Staffing Problems

The holidays are truly the time of year when people are happiest and most relaxed. But for business owners, this time of year carries its pros and cons. The good things are increased workload and profits, while problems can arise due to lack of staff and poor job organization.

This ‘disease’ chronically affects caterers, retailers, and most service industries. If you are a business owner, you need to look into overcoming staffing problems that occur every year at the same time. Once you find a good solution, you won’t have to face this problem all over again. Other than holidays, here’s the list of reasons when you need more workers.

Early Planning

You may find that your employees will go home for the holidays instead of spending that time working. That’s their right. As an employer, you should ensure there is someone available who can fill in for them. But the remaining staff cannot work at full capacity, as fatigue and saturation may occur.

If there are not enough workers available when your holiday open is due, you can be in trouble. You certainly don’t want that to happen, and you especially don’t want your job to stop at a time when you have a chance for big profits. So the most important tip on overcoming holiday staffing problems is to recognize the need for extra workers on time.

Early planning is the best tactic to overcome the problem. You need to advertise the need for an additional workforce earlier and form an applicant pool on time. That way, when the time comes, it will be much easier to find suitable candidates, organize interviews, and hire the best ones.

Referral Programs

Another tip on overcoming holiday staffing problems is to encourage your staff to refer applicants. That can speed up the hiring process. Your workers probably know someone who needs a job and can help you find quality applicants. Make sure you provide incentives for employees who brought the best candidates and make it a win-win-win situation.

Be Sincere

You have to be open with applicants. During the interview, focus on their skills and experience, but be clear about your expectations and their responsibilities. Don’t forget to mention working overtime and late nights. But point out the benefits for part-time holiday staffing, such as more days off, higher salary, and other incentives for those who accept unpopular shifts.

Provide Good Work Environment

One of the best ways of solving your seasonal staff problems is to create a better work environment. You need to provide your staff with better equipment, better pay, and better benefits. That applies to both full and part-time workers. A positive working atmosphere and conditions seem encouraging to both current employees and new crew members.

You also need to provide employees with training to be better prepared to meet the demands of their job. Don’t forget to incentivize them. Show that you appreciate their efforts and loyalty. When you provide these things to your staff, you will naturally improve your chances of finding workers to fill the gap.

Rely on Own Resources

Before anything, you need to know what you have at your disposal. So one of the first steps should be looking for employees who are willing to work overtime. Do that way before holidays, to prevent possible issues due to lack of workers. Cross-training comes in handy, as you can always have skilled workers at hand.

When there is a heavy workload during holidays, it may not be possible to guarantee a full shift on those days. When that happens, you could use staff members willing to work extra shifts and get paid for that. They may be willing to work weekends and overtime so that you can schedule them in advance.

Allow Self-Scheduling

As an employer, you have to ensure that your employees can manage their time wisely. It means you should let them organize their work time as needed. You can let workers switch shifts and adjust their time, as long as all your shifts are covered. When people have that freedom, they can be more productive and motivated to work.

Let your workers take some time off whenever they need it, as long as their job doesn’t suffer. It will allow them to relax, get some fresh air, and help relieve some of the stress they may feel over the issues at hand. When staff members are taken off-site for a few days, they are more likely to take the time to enjoy themselves rather than worry about the job at hand.

On the link below, find the desirable incentives for employees:

Organizing shifts during the holiday season can be challenging. Whenever you can, rely on your own resources. But if you can’t find enough workers to cover shifts, you need to hire more people. Plan that action on time, and you’ll avoid business downtime during peak season.