For many businesses, the busy season means longer hours, more customers, and an increased workload for everyone involved. Of course, the timing of this season can change, depending on your industry.
For example, tax professionals are swamped mid-January. Recreation companies are inundated with orders in June and July. Most retailers are smacked around by Black Friday and Christmas.
While the revenue from these seasons can provide a much-needed boost for your company, your business can face a seriously damaged reputation with both customers and employees if you aren’t prepared.
Here are four ways to prepare your business for seasonal changes.
Define Your Time-Off Policy
Start by defining your time-off policy in advance. For businesses with high traffic during the summer or holiday season, it often feels like every employee has a lengthy vacation request when you need them most. Even yourself, and your managers will be interested in taking some much-needed time to visit with family and friends.
To accommodate these requests, make sure paid time off and holiday hours are listed in your hiring contracts and employee handbooks. When your busy season approaches, send an email detailing these policies to each of your workers.
You might require your employees to share vacation plans several months in advance. You could also set a date by which all requests must be in. For example, businesses with a hectic holiday season might require all paperwork by late October. You should also emphasize that you cannot guarantee time off during your busy season.
Seek Reliable Seasonal Employees
For most companies, the busy season comes paired with staffing shortages. To prepare for these shortages, compile a list of the seasonal workers you need to stay afloat. Carefully outline required availability and how much you’re willing to pay.
Then, take your information to an experienced staffing agency, which can help you find temporary employees prepared to keep your business functioning smoothly at all times – even when it seems everyone else has disappeared.
Consider Getting Ahead
Instead of waiting for your busy season to get everything done, take a few weeks before the rush comes and prep your company. Update your website, improve your tracking system, or launch your new marketing campaign. You certainly won’t have the time or additional hands once the season begins.
Boost Employee Morale
The best way to prepare for your busy season? Show your employees some love and appreciation by passing out presents or additional perks. For example, you might offer a salary bonus, host a party, or hold a week-long recognition event.
You can choose to surprise your workers with this boost, or you can plan ahead. Maybe you have an annual event or tradition your employees enjoy. Whatever the case, be sure to include seasonal employees in the celebrations.
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