Don’t Let Holiday Staffing Shortages Interfere – Prepare Now
If the reality that Christmas is less than one hundred days away has your head spinning, please, take a seat. Trust me; there’s no time to recover from the head injury or broken arm you may incur if the spinning causes a nasty fall.
With the fourth quarter officially underway, now is the time to begin preparations for the holiday season and the end-of-year-tie-up-loose-ends rush. So, shake out the fall cobwebs and tackle the prep that will pave the way for a calm, cool, and collected you heading home to be with the family for the long holiday weekend come December 21.
First things first, let’s focus on business hours.
- What hours of operation will the company observe the week of Thanksgiving?
- Will you operate at full capacity on Black Friday? Allow employees a long Thanksgiving weekend?
- Christmas Eve falls on Monday, Christmas Day on Tuesday. Will your doors be open part of either day?
- What about New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day the following week?
Grab a calendar and plot out a workable plan, now, when there’s still time to adjust work schedules, project closing dates, and manufacturing deadlines.
Secondly, determine if extra manpower will be needed to achieve the fourth quarter goals, taking into consideration—
- Busier-than-normal day/shifts due to the holidays
- Fewer hours/days to accomplish tasks, meet deadlines, service the customer
- It’s the beginning of cold and flu season. Yay!
- Already-scheduled time-off for holiday events and family time
Gulp. When it’s all there in front of you in black and white, don’t be surprised if the head-spinning returns as the realization hits home: a staffing shortage in December could be disastrous.
Get a grip. That’s why you’re grappling with the situation in early October. And pulling the team together to strategize how to accomplish everything by close of business on December 31.
Hiring short-term employees for November and December saves the sanity of many a business owner. Lots of folks eager to earn extra cash for the holidays will pick up a second job, temporarily exchange part-time for full-time, spend breaks from school working, return to a past employer, or volunteer for overtime.
Look within, to current employees willing and able to fill holiday openings. Also, seek recommendations from those same workers concerning family or friends looking for short-term employment. In addition to those options, partner with a staffing agency to bring your workforce to an optimal level. Their pool of fully-trained candidates stands ready to fill the holiday gaps in your workforce.