We feel like we say this every year, but man the holidays really snuck up on us this year! With just a few short weeks between us and Thanksgiving, we thought it would be a good idea to discuss a topic that roofing and other business leaders struggle with during the holiday season – how to balance client demand and employee time off during the holidays.
If this is an area of people management you struggle with, the Roofing Academy team is here to help. Keep reading below to learn how to balance it all and ensure that you, your employees, and your clients have a holly, jolly holiday season!
Balancing Client Demand with Employee Time-Off During the Holiday Season
Set expectations as early as possible
It is important that you set expectations for holiday work schedules with both your clients and your employees as far in advance as possible. On the employee side, there will of course be employees with visitors in town or who are leaving town and want time off for the holidays. Clearly communicate holiday and vacation guidelines so your employees know what is expected of them. Guidance around how to request time off, company-wide holiday closures, and time off coverage should never come as a surprise to employees.
On the client side, there will likely be many who are having guests and do not want roofing work to be performed well guests are in town, so you’ll need to schedule around that. You’ll also likely have guests who are leaving town and would like work to be performed while they’re gone.
Examine both your employees time off requests and your client scheduling requests carefully to determine the schedule over the next two months.
Encourage your employees to take time off
Leaders know that the holidays only come once a year and that holidays are to be spent with family whenever possible. Actively encourage your employees to take time off to enjoy the holidays with their loved ones because roofing projects can be rescheduled, but Christmas dinner with your 91 year old grandmother cannot.
Ask for volunteers
Not every roofing employee is going to need the same holidays off or the same amount of time off around each holiday. When building schedules for the weeks of the major winter holidays, start by asking your roofing team members what days they open to working and which they would prefer to have off. You can also ask for volunteers who may prefer not to work a particular day, but could in a pinch if they were really needed.
Provide additional compensation to employees
When calling on your roofing employees to work holidays, especially any who have stated they prefer not to work, but can in a pinch, be sure to compensate them for going above and beyond for your team. Consider paying them time and a half for their efforts or providing a bonus at the start of the year to thank them and let your appreciation be known.
Remember that leaders lead by example
If you are asking your employees to sacrifice time with their loved ones, you need to do the same. Sign yourself up to man the inbound phone line one day or work in the field. Seeing that their leader is willing to roll up their sleeves and do the less desired work is a great way to build team morale.
Don’t panic and look towards 2022
The holidays are tough enough and you don’t need to add any stress to your plate. If you are having trouble finding adequate coverage from your team, you might need to have some tough conversations about scheduling with clients. While that doesn’t always feel great, at the end of the day it is just a few weeks out of the year and by the time January 3rd rolls around, you’ll be operating at full capacity again.
If you are looking to learn more about leadership in the roofing industry, the Roofing Academy is a great place to start. Be sure to check out the rest of our blog posts and click here to learn more about our membership offerings.