How to Plan the Optimal Work Schedule For the Christmas Holiday Season

Christmas is around the corner, have you started to organise your Christmas shifts? Read this blog for tips on planning the optimal Christmas work schedule.
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Like every year, the holiday season is coming around fast. With only 7 weeks until Christmas you need to start preparing your Christmas schedules. There will be an increase in footfall, sales and unpredictable factors but still remains is the decrease in staff. 

Many retail stores, care homes, restaurants and other industries for the past number of months have been trying to manage with the difficulties of hiring and staff retention. Organisations have had to reduce opening hours, switch to delivery only, increase wages or close altogether which means performance has been affected. It’s been a frightening and challenging time for everyone. Not to fear, this is where Bizimply can help you by following our tips on how to schedule your staff for the Christmas holiday season. 

With the right attitude, tools, clear communication and the ability to be well organised you can have the right people in the right place at the right time. You will feel more confident, manage any arising issues quickly and your staff will also be happy! 

Does your organisation need a Christmas Holiday Schedule?

If you’re a big organisation then this is a big YES! With so many staff to be scheduled and shifts to be covered it is essential that you prepare your holiday schedule. 

If you’re a smaller organisation with around 30 staff, Christmas shifts probably aren’t going to differ much from your usual weekly schedules, but it’s nice to stay on top of things!

Before getting stuck in; ask yourself the following questions: 

1. How do sales change during the holidays?

Data is useful. We recommend looking at your data for the past 12 months, in particular, peak seasons and holiday times. Make sure to include all factors, weather or for example; if you are a restaurant to look at takeout orders vs dine-in orders, popular items and compare these to your forecast sales. If you find sales aren’t that much different then the need to look for extra staff could be ticked off the list, but like life, it is completely unpredictable!

2. Are you staffed up?

Are your staff available to work the Christmas holidays? Ensure to take the time to check all Unavailability statuses and time-off requests before spending time creating a schedule for it to be required to be adjusted. Do you have a lot of seasonal staff who might head home for the holidays? Or juggle two jobs? Keep these factors in mind so you can prepare to look for staff if needed to. 

Are you having a Sale instore? Staff up.

Several work parties in one night? Staff up.

Got more orders in that need packed? Staff up.

Staffing up will mean your staff can deliver an experience like no other to your customers, they leave happy which makes you happy. See how planning your holiday schedule in advance can be beneficial? 

Hire additional staff in time! Unless you’re advertising that you’re hiring staff, it’s unlikely that you’ll get applicants. Even if it’s temporary Christmas work you require them for, there is always someone on the hunt for an extra few hours a week. 

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Once you have a clear idea of demands, staff availability and events on it’s now time to plan your Christmas holiday schedule. 

1. Check Team Availability for Scheduling

Who is available to work shifts during the holidays, pay particular attention to students who are off and might even want extra hours. When you have finalised their available hours and days then you can identify whether you need to hire more staff. 

With Bizimply, staff can submit their Unavailability and time off requests through their employee profiles on the desktop or mobile app; MyZimply. It is the easiest way to communicate these with their manager and can be done on the go. All the manager has to do is approve or deny the request. If approved, this will automatically be blocked out on the schedule. If you have a policy about booking time off during the holiday season for schedule reasons, communicate this clearly to your staff. 

2. Time to Schedule

Okay time to make moves. Build your schedule in accordance with your organisation’s demands which may be different from your standard week. As mentioned before, look at your previous years sales so you can forecast the upcoming holiday demands. 

3. Publish your schedule 

Publish your schedule as soon as you can, a few weeks before is extremely beneficial to your employees. Remember, they have a social life too! They will want to make plans, so getting this out well in advance means they can swap shifts where required and finalise their own personal holiday plans. 

Bizimply allows you to publish the schedule and automatically email out the schedule to each of your employees. This makes it easier for them to check it at any time as to when they are scheduled and won’t miss a shift!

Need more guidance? Get in touch with one of our advisors today for a free business consultation!

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