Simplify Retail Employee Holiday Scheduling Using Seven Simple Tweaks
Scheduling your employees can be a challenge any time of the year, but when the holidays come around, that challenge is greatly intensified. Accommodating employees who are going out of town, those who want to take time off to be with family or those who simply like to take their annual vacation before Christmas can be tough. Fortunately, you can take control of the schedule as the holidays inch closer by using the following seven tips:
1 – Know Their Availability Before the Holidays Approach
One of the things you can do is to find out about an employee’s availability before the holiday season approaches. Most people will know their plans for the holidays before they actually arrive, so this can be a great time to take advantage of this knowledge. Ask them to put in their requests for time off at least a month in advance so you can be ready.
2 – Inform Employees of Holiday Incentives
Some companies offer incentives, like holiday pay, for working on major holidays. If your company offers this, make sure that everyone knows about it. You might find that there are plenty of people who want to work as they want the extra money.
3 – Find out What Needs to Be Covered
Since there will certainly be people on your staff who want to work on and around holidays, find out as soon as possible who these people are. When you do this, you will have an idea of what shifts can be covered and how many people you will need to schedule on top of that. Again, the sooner you find this information out, the better off you will be.
4 – Be as Fair as Possible With Your Holiday Scheduling
The two main holidays that people want off are Thanksgiving and Christmas. Some businesses, however, will still need coverage on those days. In this case, be as fair as you can and try to schedule employees on Thanksgiving or Christmas instead of both. You may find that a sign-up sheet will help, too, as you can see who prefers to work on which holiday.
5 – Don’t Book Employees on Too Many Shifts
The last thing that you will want to do when it comes to holiday scheduling is to get overzealous with your schedule. This means that you want to avoid booking employees for too many shifts, if possible. What does this mean? It means that you should not schedule an employee to work on Thanksgiving, and then expect them to work on Black Friday unless it is unavoidable.
6 – Watch Your Overtime Hours
It isn’t just your employees who need to pay attention to the holiday schedule; you will need to do it, too, as you will want to watch your overtime. Many times, employees will rack up hour after hour of overtime and holiday pay, and that can cost your company a lot in wages. Do your best to work hard and track who is working a lot of overtime and who is working the holiday time-and-a-half hours. You might have to start limiting some of your employees’ schedules.
7 – Get Your Schedule Posted as Soon as Possible for the Holidays
Finally, you want to make sure that you are posting your holiday schedule as soon as you can. There will inevitably be changes to the schedule as people switch shifts and try to accommodate their personal schedules. You can avoid most of the call-offs and no-shows, however, by posting the schedule as soon as you can.
Though you likely won’t find it to be fun when scheduling your employees’ shifts for the holidays, hopefully you will find it a bit easier this year than it has been in years past. By using some or even all of the above suggestions, you should definitely see an improvement. If you have ideas on this topic to share, hit our Twitter page and leave your comments or suggest some useful links to explore on