The importance of shift planning during the festive season

Nov 16, 2022

The importance of shift planning... Blog @ TeamUltim

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The Christmas season is indisputably the busiest time of the year. It can become quickly overwhelming for certain businesses, especially those in retail, catering and hospitality. You will need your team to be more available than usual to satisfy the frenetic demands of customers. This is where shift planning comes in.

For most businesses, scheduling is long and frustrating and the festive season makes it even worse. However, shift planning for the upcoming holiday season does not have to be a tedious task. Avoiding seasonal mishaps and still being able to satisfy one’s team is probably one of the greatest challenges businesses face during the holiday season. So, how exactly can you maintain a balance in the workplace? Here are a few things to take into account.

1. Plan your shifts ahead of time

During the holiday season, most businesses witness an influx of customers. If you are not prepared for this, not only will you be overwhelmed, but your team will be too.

“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” — Benjamin Franklin.

While planning your work rosters for the season, don’t forget to consider your employees’ needs and preferences as much as possible, because your business is only as successful as your team is happy. Your staff would also benefit from early shift scheduling as they can easier plan how they spend the holiday season with their family and friends. The festive season highlights a business’ lack of organization and this lack will decide what your Christmas sales would look like. Keep this in mind, while planning your shifts. Also, don’t be afraid to hire a few new employees for the season if necessary. The more the merrier, right?

2. Use a shift planning app!

If shift planning is too frustrating for you, why not try an app? Many people that have used excel often complain as it can be complicated. However, great Rota planning apps such as TeamUltim, makes team management easier and stress free. The app consists of great features such as “shift swaps” and “open shifts”, which can come in handy if you are short staffed. A shift planning app, can take a great weight off of your teams’ shoulders, which in turn will be great for business. Shift planning apps can also be useful as employees can always check when they are needed for work at any time during the day.

3. Have a plan B

To avoid being short staffed in the middle of the busiest season of the year, make sure to think of an emergency plan in case an employee can’t make it to work. An employee’s absence should not rob your business of a whole day of sales and it is not fair if another employee has to do the workload of two with the salary of one. As previously mentioned, the shift scheduling app, TeamUltim is great for team management. The app’s “open shift” feature allows employees to cover shifts that aren’t yet taken by someone else and the “shift swapping” feature allows employees to switch shifts, if they know they will be absent on the day they are needed. This way everyone is happy and the employees’ absence will not take a toll on business productivity. These two great features offered by the app, easily fill the gap when a business is understaffed. Try to check in with your employees from time to time to confirm that they will show up to work and you won’t have any unpleasant surprises.

Christmas is the busiest time of the year. It helps bring in more customers, thus leading to an increase in sales. However, if your team is not prepared to handle the workload that comes with this festive season, your business will not reap its benefits. The tips mentioned in this article are short staff proof and guaranteed to make the Christmas season work in your business’ favour. Try them out and you will see a crucial change in sales and team productivity during the holidays.

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