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6 Things You Don’t Want to Be Doing This Holiday Season

The holiday season is upon us again!

Depending on the type of business you work in, your reaction may be one of intense excitement, or of profound dread. (For your sake, I hope it’s the former.)

Sure, the holiday season is rife with cheer and good times, but for many businesses it’s also a time of high pressure, seeing spikes in traffic and demand.

In this context, it’s important to make the most of your time by maximizing your business’ potential earnings.

How, you ask? By spending your time on the activities that bring you the highest ROI; that means reducing as much as possible the time spent on low ROI activities that sap your time and energy.

With that being said, here are 6 examples of low ROI activities you don’t want to be doing or worrying about this holiday season:

1) Making schedules

Unfortunately, making schedules cannot be avoided. Fortunately, during particularly busy times, schedules can be made in advance.

This can be done with an employee management system like WorkAxle that allows employees to set their future availability, enabling you to make schedules weeks ahead of time. Of course, during the time leading up to the holiday season changes in the schedule will inevitably come up, but with a software that updates itself in real time with any changes made (i.e. changes in availability, time off requests, shift trades, shift covers, etc.), you needn’t worry. With WorkAxle, making schedules during the holiday season is practically an afterthought.

2) Wondering how many employees to schedule and when

Making schedules quickly is good, but you also want them to be of high quality; in other words, they must be accurate and appropriate for the context in which they’re set.

An important factor in creating the best possible schedules is integrating budget and sales information. This information allows you to make accurate predictions of the future, providing estimations of sales volume, customer activity, labor costs and more for any given day. This information is crucial, since it helps you determine the optimal number of employees to schedule and when.

Capable of integrating with current POS systems, a modern scheduling software like WorkAxle can incorporate your business’ data and make intelligent suggestions for you without an ounce of effort on your part. It’s time to put your data to work!

3) Wondering for how long to schedule your employees

The holiday season means more employees working more hours being scheduled more often at irregular times; what does that spell? Overtime fees!

As a manager, how do you deal with that?

With an intelligent scheduling tool like WorkAxle, you can easily keep track of who is working, when, and for how long, while having a set limit of how many hours your employees can work without going overtime.

4) Constant requests for shift changes, shift trades and time off

The holiday season is a break in the routine for everyone; employees change their regular availabilities, ask you for time off, ask each other to cover their shift(s) and switch shifts with one another, all of which is done at a much higher rate than normal. In any business, these requests can quickly pile up and overwhelm you.

Think about it, how long does it take for you to deal with one shift trade request? Employees must first communicate with you their desire to trade shifts, then you must look over all your employees’ availabilities to find out who is able to trade, then ask other employees if they are willing to trade, update your schedule with the new information and then publish it. That’s a lot, right? Now multiply that by 50; how much time is that?

WorkAxle can allow your employees to do most of this work themselves; pending your approval, employees can change their availabilities, ask each other for shift covers and trades, and submit requests for time off, all in the span of seconds. Your involvement is minimal; all you need to do is give a simple ‘Yes’ or ‘No’!

5) Scheduling the right people at the right time

In crunch times, you want the right people to be working at the right times; where and when they’re at their best and/or when they’re needed the most. With WorkAxle’s employee ‘Tags’ feature, you can give your employees certain labels corresponding to their features/skills/attributes/qualifications (e.g. “Most experienced”, “Good under pressure”, etc.), which are then incorporated into your scheduling process.

6) Hiring, onboarding and training seasonal workers

The hike in demand during the holiday season may require you to hire more workers. Bringing in new workers means starting the hiring process all over again: posting your job opening(s) on all available channels, waiting for responses, evaluating the applications, interviewing the candidates, then onboarding and training them.

Although these are all important tasks, during the holiday season you really want to be spending your time on the activities that bring you the highest ROI. A modern employee management software like WorkAxle can massively reduce the time it takes to perform these tasks.

The holiday season can be one of the most lucrative for your business. But worrying about any of these problems will come in the way of your profit, your happiness and peace of mind.

Reclaim the joy of the holiday season again by adopting a solution that gets rid of all these hassles.

It might just be what you need to bring back the joy of the holiday season back to your business!

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Sam Piazza

Sam is a young and hungry business mind with a knack for helping his clients reach their desired results. When he's not focused on workforce management, you can find him coaching youth basketball at the local high school. Ask him anything!

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