The holidays are one of the busiest times of the year for the retail industry. Store managers should be prepared to allocate their resources effectively and might need to hire additional help. It’s common for employees to request time off during the holidays, which can make this time of year more stressful. Consider these tips when managing employee schedules to ensure your retail store is running as efficiently as possible.
- Analyze store needs. It’s important for management to analyze store needs in advance to make sure everyone is prepared for the holiday season. Many stores will need to order extra inventory to accommodate large crowds. It’s a good idea to contact the corporate office to inquire about any promotional or sale items. Some businesses will need to hire temporary help during the holiday season. Managers should also collect time-off requests in advance to prevent schedule conflicts.
- Schedule time-off in advance. The busiest time for a retail store also happens to be the most popular time for employees to request time-off. It’s common for employees to request time off for travel to visit relatives during Thanksgiving and Christmas. One effective strategy for holiday scheduling is setting a deadline for time-off requests. Many managers require employees to request time-off in advance to prevent scheduling conflicts.
- Manage seniority issues. Retail managers will need to decide if seniority will play a role when scheduling time-off. It’s common for several employees to request the same time-off. It’s impossible for managers to approve all time-off requests and maintain the coverage needed to run the store. Many retail managers consider seniority when responding to time-off requests. Seniority applies to people who have been employed for a long period of time. Some managers will employees have first choice if they have earned seniority at the company.
- Implement time-off freezes. In the event where an overwhelming amount of shopping is expected, some managers might implement a time-off freeze. This kind of policy would prevent employees from requesting time-off during a certain time period. A time-off freeze could last a few days or several months depending on the current staffing needs of the company. Time-off freezes also prevent hostility that could be caused by seniority or favoritism.
- Hire temporary employees. It’s common for retail managers to hire temporary help during the holiday season. Temporary help will usually only work during the holiday season when shopping activity is at its highest. Time-off requests are more likely to be approved for regular employees when additional staffing has been hired. Retail managers should manage time-off requests in an efficient way during the holiday season. Management will need to analyze store needs to prepare for heavy shopping periods. Employees should be encouraged to schedule time-off in advance. Supervisors might consider giving seniority to employees that have been with the company for an extended period of time. Many companies implement hiring freezes to prevent staffing problems. Retail businesses can also hire temporary employees for the busiest time of the year.