Broken easter eggFor a small business, the holiday season can be daunting because of the pressure that it puts on its resources.  Even so, one mustn’t forget the benefits of a bit of a break for employees who come back to work refreshed and renewed, ready to face any challenges.

In the case of larger businesses, they have plenty of employees who can pick up the slack when another employee decides to go on holiday, but a small business usually lacks those extra personnel resources. This can be detrimental to a small business, as losing one employee for a few days leaves a bit of a void in the workload.

All is not lost though, by putting some plans into place, small businesses can keep things running smoothly when one of their staff goes on vacation.

 Plan Holidays in Advance

Anything is possible with good planning and knowing your staffs holiday plans in advance can be the best way to ensure avoiding chaos.  Every employer knows that holidays are part and parcel of the hiring process, but by requesting advanced notice by way of leave forms can ensure that staff do not take leave over the same time period as well as giving employers adequate time to make alternate arrangements.  Having processes and systems in place will go a long way to avoiding such issues as staff taking leave over the same time or during peak periods where all hands are required on deck.

 Pay Extra for More Work

When an employee goes on vacation in a small business, someone else usually has to pick up their slack and this is usually another employee. The reality is that no one wants to take on the work of two people.  A good way of avoiding this kind of dilemma is by giving a bonus or a temporary pay raise to whomever is the most qualified to do both jobs. Extra cash is a great motivator and will ensure that you have a happy and focused replacement for your travelling employee.

Hire on Temporary or Seasonal Help

No business owner wants to hire a temporary employee for a week while another employee is traveling. Training of temporary staff is time consuming and costly and even then, there are no guarantees that they will be able to perform the tasks required of them. Temporary or seasonal staff can be hugely helpful however if the employer has advance warning of multiple staff vacations where someone could take up the slack.  In this situation, a temp could be trained in various jobs within the company and could be called upon in future to assist. This would take the pressure off existing staff and the employer who would have a reliable temp in the wings to fill in for travelling staff.

Because small businesses are small, a change in dynamics such as travelling staff can have a massive negative impact.  It can however also be a time to put things into perspective by assessing whether particular jobs are integral to the business or if some jobs could be combined or done away with altogether.  Planning is a small businesses best friend – make sure that you are aware of your staffs impending travelling plans and get organised – this will help you avoid a holiday hangover