Start with estimating your expected holiday demand
. You can check last year's holiday volume to see how it compares to a typical week. You can then decide how many people you actually need.
Unless you are an airline or a grocery delivery service, holiday demand is often significantly lower than usual. So even though most of your team are off or would like to be off - there is no reason to panic. A fraction of your normal staffing
is often enough.
just keep your normal schedule and unilaterally decide who will work on this day. But attrition across the industry is high, and recruitment is hard. Team happiness is important, so don’t force it. Here’s how to handle the team scheduling:
- First check for volunteers, you might be surprised. Christmas is a religious holiday after all, so although it is super important for some, other people would not mind working on those days.
- You would certainly need to offer a day off in lieu, but be prepared to offer other incentives too. It could be a fixed sum or a multiple of a person’s daily rate. Be transparent about it with your team.
- Allow working from home during the holidays. Your team will value being closer to their families even if they have to work during this time.
- Since you will be staffed thinner than usual, make sure that you have a team with a sufficient level of skill every day of the holiday. For example, if you are a bank, you might need a payments specialist, a fraud specialist or a manager that can be escalated to.
- Arrange backup. If your team finds themselves with higher demand or needs more senior help, they should know who to call, how to reach them and who is responsible for reaching out for backup on each day. And this person or backup team should be ready to jump on and help.