Holidays and Flu Season


Holidays-Flu-Vacation-Season-1212No boss wants to appear like Scrooge around the holidays, but when employees are sick, vacations are taken and holiday time off is given, it’s tough to keep a medium or small business humming along when staff is short.

If that’s you and you are concerned about staff coverage throughout the next few months, there are some things you can do to lessen the impact of holidays, vacations and flu season on your business work flow.

Sick Employees

When employees get sick, and you know they will, it’s important to establish ahead of time and communicate to your staff what symptoms constitute staying home vs. going into the office. The last thing you want is an ill employee coming into work and infecting coworkers.

If employees become sick, here are some ideas to minimize the effect on the business:

  • For some positions, working from home is an option. Just remember you must still allow the employee proper rest time to get better. Don’t expect the employee not to miss any work or deadlines just because they are working from home. Remember, they are still sick and need to recover.
  • It is a good idea to have any telecommuting equipment and processes ready for when needed so you can get a telecommuting employee up and running as quickly as possible.

Also, schedule time in a team meeting to brainstorm how employees can cover for each other when there are unexpected absences like for illness or disability.

Vacations and Holidays

Vacations and holidays are still difficult for staffing but at least you know when certain staff will be out of the office.

Some things you can do for the busier times:

  • Have a deadline of when employees can submit their vacation requests so there is plenty of time to plan ahead.
  • Ask employees who have key positions to provide a summary of duties, contact information, file access, etc. to give to those covering their positions while they are out.
  • Whenever possible, divvy up the duties of someone who is on vacation to several coworkers so no one person is handling the workload of two people.

Other Ways to Cover for Employee Absences

  • If you’d rather skip having to juggle staff coverage during the holiday/vacation season, you may want to consider hiring temporary employees who can cover for those who are out.
  • Even better, for customer service calls and orders, you can hire an answering service.This would allow not only employees but you as the boss to take some holiday time off without worrying who will answer business calls and take care of orders.

Now that makes for a very happy holiday season indeed!


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