12 Tips for Scheduling Employees During the Holiday Season

12 Wise Ways in Scheduling Employees During the Holidays


The holidays are just around the corner. Therefore, it’s about time for managers to contemplate how they are going to schedule employees during this period. This could be a stressful thing to do because there are different things to consider, such as tracking the times different employees requested time off, the policy of contracts, making sure to keep employees happy the best way possible, and making sure some employees feel that there are some favoritism.

Of course, this is not a problem for industries where businesses are closed during the holidays, or when an union contract mandates that employees be off. However, for other employers, this situation must be handled as soon as possible to eliminate potential problems.


Scheduling Issue for the Holidays
Scheduling Issue for the Holidays

Handling the Scheduling Issue for the Holidays

The following are 12 wise ways in handling the scheduling of employees for the holidays:

1. Plan ahead

When planning ahead, managers avoid the risk of making scheduling mistakes. They can review contracts, track on time taken off from employees, and make sure to schedule fairly among the employees. Not to mention, managers’ time is already hectic, so they must schedule ahead.

2. Managerial discretion

Managers must use discretion in deciding whether or not letting multiple employees off on the same day is a much better way in ensuring that much needed work gets done before they take off. Also, there wouldn’t be any risk of favoritism or other conflicts between the employees and the manager when multiple employees are off for the day.

3. Organizational need

Determining what needs to be done during the holidays may prevent some workers from being able to take off, i.e. the ones who handle those responsibilities. In this case, the managers should tell these employees ahead of time about them not being able to take off. And those employees should be recognized for their efforts in some form, even though they can ‘t be off on that day.

4. Rotating schedule

Just like the employees at hospitals having to work during the holidays, other industries can use a proficient tracking system as well. At least, this will reduce discrepancies among employees. They won’t have any allegations of favoritism, but they still wouldn’t like the inflexibility associated with this system. Having said this, managers can also allow employees to switch holidays with co-workers.


Industry specific scheduling demands
Industry specific scheduling demands

5. Industry specific demands

In some industries, a certain percentage of employees must be present for the demands associated with retail and manufacturing, for instance. Not to mention, when it comes to the healthcare industry, a minimum amount of staffing must be available for the patients’ safety sake. Another great example is an accounting firm having enough staff for the tax season. In certain industries, employees should know and expect this, and be told this from management, in case they are not aware.

6. Previous requests

This may be a little risky because employees may feel as if they are treated unfairly. Nevertheless, it may still be necessary to maintain a well-organized system in view of all the times off from employees as well as their times off during holidays. Using caution to communicate to employees ahead of time about this entire system may be necessary.

7. Deadline driven

Some companies have used a deadline date for employees to submit a time off request. Employees who submit the request after the deadline date may be considered on a first come, first served basis or according to the company’s needs. This is a great system for companies with predictable busy seasons.

8. Shut-down

Shutting down early or totally closing during the holidays will eliminate all conflicts associated with time off requests. Some retail and grocery chains do this. Also, recently many employees are offered a few days off during the holidays with pay.


Advanced Scheduling of Resources
Advanced Scheduling of Resources

9. Advanced Scheduling of Resources

Planning ahead is always important to eliminate conflicts with satisfied, productive employees. It also saves the already busy manager of possibly more headaches, if he/she is planning ahead. Furthermore, there are several employee scheduling software apps that can make this task easier, such as Microsoft Outlook or SaaS products like Tracksmart.

10. Create incentives

Many employees would be more than happy to work during the holidays when there are some worthwhile incentives included. This could be paying for their lunch to paying a time and a half. Many may feel they can used that extra pay when it’s a time and a half especially during the holidays.

11. Holiday help

A plethora of students would love to earn extra cash during the holidays, especially some Christmas cash. Also, using temp agencies is a great idea. They save companies from dealing with payroll and tax headaches associated with new employees.

12. Skeleton crew

Just as the name implies, it’s keeping a few employees on for the holidays. This may be an option if the company can’t close up shop. With this, most employees will be off, and even those working can get time off on another holiday.


Article provided by NECHES FCU, with convenient locations in Beaumont, Lumberton and Bridge City.

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