June 10, 2016 |
Summer is arriving in Northern California! As the weather heats up, employees start to disappear. This can make staffing a huge issue during the summer months. People tend to take more vacations and “sick days” than usual so you’ll need people to fill those spots.
There are ways to prepare for staffing in the summer before the season fully hits. You’ll want to make sure even though they may be temporary or seasonal employees, that you are hiring the best possible candidates.
You can’t prepare for what you don’t know. Gather as much information as you can to make an informed decision of your staffing needs. Once you know everyone’s intended vacation dates you can start to make a plan.
Setting a hard deadline for vacation requests helps you as a business owner know what you are dealing with. If you don’t set a deadline, your employees could tell you the week before or even the day before that they are taking a week off. That leaves you in a panic. It is common practice in larger companies to have a vacation request deadline, so take it from the big guys and make that a standard in your business. You’ll be glad you did.
Once you know all the dates that people will be gone, put it on a calendar so you can visually see where your staffing gaps are. If you have 1 person gone for a week, it may not be a huge deal if you have several employees working for you. However, if you only have 3 employees, that could cause a huge disruption in your day-to-day business needs. Seeing it visually will help you create a plan.
Some businesses have peak times during the summer while other businesses are slower. If you run an ice cream shop, your bread and butter comes from summer business. However, if you sell raincoats, your business will probably be slow. Check out last year’s summer revenue and staffing needs to determine a base for this year’s potential needs. Also pay attention to business growth year over year so you don’t understaff based on last year’s numbers.
Take all of the information from the submitted vacation times, past sales, projected sales and peak times for your business and determine your staffing needs. Then determine your staffing gaps. Now you have a clear idea of how many people you will need when and if your current staffing situation can handle it or not.
Cross training your employees is just good business practice. Whether someone is gone for 1 sick day or 2 weeks, it’s good to have someone else in the office know that person’s job responsibilities so that your business doesn’t take a huge halt due to their absence. This is especially true during seasonal times of peak sales.
As a small business owner, it’s easy to let everyone take time off and use yourself to cover their hours. However, doing this will certainly burn you out by the end of summer, if not before. Make sure you schedule yourself some vacation time. Be with your family, unplug and refresh. You and your employees will be happy you did. There’s nothing worse than sitting in your office while all your employees take the vacations of their lives. Give yourself a break too.
These types of situations are where staffing agencies thrive! Most of the time, they can get you employees the same day if needed. But if you really prepare, they can help find you the best fit for your business and get them to you to train with the employee that will be leaving on vacation. It’s better for your sake to be prepared than need help last minute, but either way a staffing agency is there, ready to help even at the last minute.
There you have it! You can prepare for your best-staffed summer yet by following these 8 tips. Don’t let seasonal times bring you extra stress. Just prepare, get organized and get help.