Ah, spring break. A fan favorite among kids, teenagers and adults alike. However, for businesses, it can be quite stressful. As spring break quickly approaches, businesses have to find ways to mitigate potential reduced workforces so they can ensure business operations continue smoothly as usual, despite a many employees requesting time off all at once. While one week out of the month might not seem like a huge deal, if you have a company of 20 employees and 5 need to be out – that can really impact the business, especially if it depletes an entire department.
How Can a Reduced Workforce Impact My Business?
While you might think focusing on big business disruptions like a natural disaster or workplace violence incident should be your main focus, your business should be prepared for any type of disruption. Including a reduced workforce. Here are a few ways your business can be negatively impacted by a reduced workforce:
- Loss of sales
- Customer service issues
- Inability to complete time sensitive material or meet deadlines
Working Around a Reduced Workforce
No matter what type of business you run, whether it’s a fortune 500 corporation or a mom and pop style diner, ensuring that your business remains up and running regardless of the incident is a crucial part of being a business owner or manager. While sometimes it’s hard to get around having a reduced workforce, there are ways you can work towards mitigating any additional issues that a reduced workforce may cause.
Here are a few ways your business can prepare for a reduced workforce:
- Implement a Work from Home Policy – Sometimes it’s difficult to get around having employees taking off around the same time. If your business is set up to where working remotely is a viable option and employees are insistent on taking their vacations at the same time, have employees work remotely. This will allow employees to take a vacation, keeping business operations up and running while they are away.
- Cross-Train Employees – By cross-training employees on how to perform multiple jobs within the company, you are able to ensure the work will still get done even if crucial employees are out of the office. Cross-training gives your business and employees more flexibility. It is also a great way to help employees learn other aspects of the business that they might not learn otherwise.
- Plan Ahead – If possible, have employees work ahead if they are planning to be out of the office. This will allow for work to still get done and deadlines to be met despite employees taking vacation days. If the employee is planning to work remotely on their vacation, this would also lighten their work load while they are on vacation.
- Limitations – For some businesses, working remotely is not an option. For businesses like this, have a certain number of employees who can request off at a time and stick to a “first come, first served” method when it comes to deciding who can take time off. If employees know that they will want to be out of the office during a certain time frame, encourage them to make that known in advance to ensure they are able to be accommodated.
To help you and your business’ leadership begin planning around a reduced workforce, download Preparis’ “Reduced Workforce Tabletop” exercise.”