The holidays are coming. Along with the traditional seasonal pressures of picking out the perfect present for your spouse and dealing with distant relatives with unorthodox political views, this time of year comes with a lot of business stress.

For managers, this includes holiday schedules. Everyone wants time off. And they all want the same days off.

When you’re running a manufacturing facility, some choices are off the table. Working from home isn’t an option. Flexible shifts likely won’t work.

Still, there are things you can do to make the process easier for your employees, better for the business, and less stressful for you.

Have Clear Rules

Setting a clear policy about vacation days avoids on-the-spot disputes. There are a number of potential structures. Selecting the one that fits your business will depend on factors like the size of your business, the makeup of your workforce and the specific seasonal contours of your industry.

Some businesses go with a first-come-first-serve approach. Others go with seniority. Still others rely on a lottery. The important thing is to have a tie breaker in place when two people are looking for the same day off, but you can’t give it to both of them.

Stick to the Rules You Have

To a certain extent, it doesn’t matter what rules you set up. The key is setting out clear policies, communicating them transparently and, of course, sticking to them.

This minimizes hurt feelings and jealousies. It also gives people a chance to plan. They know what the rules are, and they can make their decisions with the policies in mind.

Holiday Bonuses

Offer your employees a bonus or overtime pay to work the time around a holiday. With the additional incentive, many will likely volunteer for the shifts.

Say ‘No’ to Everyone

Call it the nuclear option: Don’t allow any vacation days during the holidays. It may induce groans and angry muttering, but it has the benefit of being entirely fair. By creating blackout days surrounding the holiday, you end any debate and make sure no one can accuse you of playing favorites.

Say ‘Yes’ to Everyone

Instead of fighting the trend, lean into it. Schedule a brief shutdown during the holiday, and let everyone have a few days off.

You could tie the additional off days to increased production headed into the holiday – build up inventory with selective overtime ahead of time. Your employees will be motivated to work a little harder – after all, there are days off at the end of the rainbow. Meanwhile, the shutdown might give you an opportunity to catch up on some maintenance and cleanup that isn’t possible when production is in full swing.

Have Some Seasonal Backups Ready

There is a way to say “yes” to everyone’s holiday requests without shutting down production: Bring in some seasonal help. Give at least some of your full-timers a few days off and keep things going with short-term backups.

Manage the Holidays Like a Pro!

The key to this choice is preparation. Working with a top-flight staffing firm can streamline the process. Contact our PrideStaff staffing experts today to find out what we can do for you!

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