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The holidays are fast approaching. One of the issues that many employers face this time of year is the prospect of increased PTO requests as employees want to take time off to be with their families and loved ones. And as an employer who values a proper work/life balance for your employees, you want to honor those requests—but you can’t have everyone taking off at the same time. What do you do in this dilemma?

Luckily, you can prepare for the increase in PTO requests around the holidays. Here’s how:

#1: Use a workforce management system.

Modern workforce management systems allow your company to keep track of all PTO records and automate many of the processes involved. These systems also make the process for requesting time off consistent for everyone—each employee should fill out the same form to submit their request so that there is no chance of favoritism or logistical errors.

#2: Make the time-off policy clear.

It’s an inevitability that you’ll have some overlapping time-off requests at some point or another. Make sure that all employees are aware of the policy for this; outline it clearly in your employee handbook. And ensure that the way the policy works is crystal clear, whether time off is given on a first-come, first-served basis, a seniority basis, or an organizational needs basis.

#3: Empower your staff to find their replacements.

A good way to avoid the problem of overlapping PTO requests in the first place is to have your employees swap shifts or get coverage on their own. Empower your employees to be able to find their own replacements. Make the company policy for this well-known, and consider using social collaboration software which can make it easy for all team members to find a replacement when they need it.

#4: Have an emergency plan.

No matter how robust your PTO structure is, emergencies happen from no-shows and last-minute call-outs. Do you know what you’ll do when this happens? Having an emergency plan in place is essential. Be sure to have a list of part-time workers who you can call during crunch time or be able to adjust workflows to cover the missing individual or individuals.

#5: Seek help from a staffing firm.

Does your company suffer from a lack of staff around the holidays? Partnering with a staffing firm is a good way to find the staff you need on short notice. Professional recruiters can source talent when you need it so that your business doesn’t suffer from short staffing.

If you would like to bolster your staff around the busy holiday season, contact Wood Staffing for help. We place qualified candidates with top employers in the Northern Indiana and Southwestern Michigan region.

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