Keeping HR Managers Sane During the Holiday Season

November 21, 2016

Halloween is over, meaning you’re scheduling the kids’ next dentist appointments and—if you’re in HR—preparing for the barrage of time off requests headed your way. If you haven’t already, now is the perfect time to start thinking of a game plan, because let’s face it: No one wants to work around the holidays.

But as employees are dreaming of drinking eggnog in ugly Christmas sweaters, HR managers are struggling to grant employees the holiday schedules they want, and that can be extremely stressful. Here are five ways for HR managers to minimise stress—and stay sane—during the holidays.

  1. Start preparing early. The holidays come up quickly, seemingly one after another from Halloween to Valentine’s Day. In this tight schedule, time off requests can really stack up. HR managers can counteract this with early preparation. Remind employees to submit request before the last minute, either in a friendly email or memo. Chances are, your employees won’t have remembered before your email. This gives you more time to schedule shifts while saving your own sanity.
  2. First-come, first-served. A first-come, first-served rule is an easy way to reduce any hurt feelings or frustrations while processing time off requests, ensuring fair approval. In short, employees who submit their requests first will have first dibs on vacation days. Those who submit requests at the last minute will need to work around the occupied days, or figure out some other holiday plans.
  3. Offer holiday pay. For many people, holidays are the time to relax with family—but money never sleeps. Some companies offer time and a half pay, meaning employees make their hourly base pay, plus half. This is a great incentive for those who will be staying in the area for the holidays. Keep a holiday pay policy so that employees always know they have this option, and you won’t need to beg and bribe employees to stay in town.
  4. Let employees use flex days. Almost everyone has a laptop these days, which opens up the possibility for remote work. Many employees go out of town to see family during the holidays, but that doesn’t mean they don’t want to work. Some employees would rather use flex days then their precious PTO days, so ask around to see if anyone would be able to pitch in a few hours instead of hanging out around annoying extended relatives.
  5. Use backup workers. In some companies, work can really pick up during the holiday season. If most of your full-time employees are going out of town, consider hiring additional workers—either seasonal or part-time—to help you survive the holiday insanity. Try posting ads for seasonal work on job sites ahead of time, so you’re not scrambling for help on Christmas day.

The holiday season is one of the most stressful times of the year. The American Psychological Association reported that 69 percent of people are stressed because they feel they have a lack of time and money during the holidays, and 51 percent are stressed by the pressure to give gifts. HR managers most likely feel these same stresses, coupled with the stress of scheduling employees during the holidays—but it doesn’t have to be that way.

Asure Software’s industry-leading HCM management solutions are an HR manager’s best friend. When it comes to employee scheduling, Asure has everything your company needs to make the holidays go smoothly. Asure’s People Success Platform offers easy-to-use services to simplify employee management. Simply put, Asure takes the management out of human capital management so you can forget about the confusing details and get on with what matters most—building your company.