It’s school holiday time again…just when you thought, with Easter over, that the year would settle down and you could get your head around that project the boss wants started before the end of the financial year, the school holidays are here. And working parents/carers are forced to juggle the demands of work and looking after children for two frantic weeks. This can mean that business is hit with staff requesting annual leave. As a business manager, your initial reaction may be to get other staff to cover the work for the parent/carer taking leave. And this can make a LOT of sense. But there is always a hidden (or maybe not so hidden) cost when you do this. If Bob is covering for Andy who is taking leave to look after the kids, Bob isn’t going to be able to do everything. Chances are, his work gets put on the back burner or Andy’s work is only half managed. Sure, you haven’t outlaid any extra cash…but the cost of having deadlines not met or having to extend project deadlines is still real. This also doesn’t take into consideration, the loss of productivity when someone feels like they are being forced to do two jobs with no extra support or money. What else can you do?
- If you need someone internally to do Andy’s work, does it have to be Bob? Could you offer someone looking for a step up the chance to take on a bit more responsibility for a couple of weeks? THEN
- Can you take some of the work from the person stepping up and pass that onto someone less experienced? OR
- Can you get a temp in to do the ‘basics’ freeing up your permanent staff to concentrate on the more technical tasks?
Employing a temp is never cheap, but it makes very good business sense if it means that you don’t lose productivity AND you are rewarding your permanent staff with good opportunities (or not overloading them with work). So don’t let school holidays affect staff morale and business productivity…hire a temp to keep the wheels of commerce ticking over!