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Coping When Staff Take Holidays

Coping When Staff Take Holidays

When staff take holidays it can lead to increases in both workload and stress for the remaining personnel. This article will show you how to best prepare for the holiday season.

The holiday season is well underway and as a manager or business owner, you are faced with having to complete the same amount of work with experienced staff heading off for two and sometimes three weeks at a time. This can be extremely stressful for owners, managers and staff who are left to pick up the tasks of their colleagues. A study on this very topic was commissioned last year by Elance-ODesk in the UK. It found that 88% of workers claim they have to carry the load while colleagues are away on holidays – no surprise there you might say. However, it also found that that one in ten employees said they would consider leaving their jobs due to the stress brought on by the extra workload.

At Achievers Resource Solutions we believe that people and the culture of a company impact directly on the success of a business. Obviously ‘happy employees’ have a positive impact on the company, where ‘stressed employees’ have a very negative effect. Now while this is not rocket science, it does surprise us that so many companies are ill-prepared for the holiday season. Below are a few tips that can go a long way in elevating pressure and stress for your staff resulting in a more harmonious working environment for everyone. And the good news is it won’t cost the company a fortune.


Cultivate a team culture

A workforce that is willing to cover for each other, staff who simply ‘get things done’ regardless of who is absent, staff who really work as a team – now that is what you might call, The Dream Team! This type of team work does not happen by accident nor will it be accomplished if people feel pushed into taking on extra workload or are overwhelmed by having tasks assigned to them which they feel they are inexperienced and undertrained for. Training is the key – multiskilling your staff so that they are able to pick up the key elements of a colleague’s job for the few weeks while they are on holidays is vital to companies. It also just makes good business sense.

Good management

OK you know your employees are going to take holiday leave – it’s their right to do so. So manage the process. Ensure key personnel are not away at the same time. Set up a holiday chart and display it where everyone can see it. That way staff can clearly see who is off on leave and avoid overlapping of holidays.


Have you enough employees

All businesses have to avoid overstaffing – it’s simply too expensive to pay employees you do not need. However, the reverse could also cost you dearly. If you are understaffed and this is especially so over the holiday period think of the amount of orders that are going unfilled, the amount of mistakes being made due to work overload, lack of attention to detail and customer service – all of these things will affect your bottom line. So, if you need an extra pair of hands – hire them. Contractors and temps are a very good option if you need experienced people who can ‘hit the ground running’. A student seeking summer work is also another option. But don’t just give them the filing, put in a little time initially and train them, motivate them and they will deliver. In fact you might just find your future star employee this way.

Employees are entitled and will always take holidays – it’s no surprise so you should not be caught off guard. Plan ahead and your staff and business will all benefit.

Achievers Resource Solutions offers a number of recruitment solutions so contact us today and let’s discuss how we can help you with all your staff hiring and management needs.You can also visit our employers section for more information on the services we provide.

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