It’s that time of year again. All across the country, teachers are breathing a sigh of relief as they wind down into the long summer holidays, whilst parents are facing up to the day-to-day reality of balancing childcare responsibilities with their working lives.
The bottom line here is clear. When the kids are off school, either due to organised breaks throughout the academic year, or because of other factors like teachers' strikes, it can have a big impact on businesses. As an employer, it pays to take a proactive approach. Here, we share our advice and guidance for managing associated challenges effectively.
Harness a more flexible approach
Giving your staff more flexibility can help to ensure that a balance is struck between work and family. Consider whether you could offer your team members the opportunity to work from home, or slightly alter their hours during the summer holidays.
When most people think of flexible working, they think of arrangements like these, and it’s true that they can really help. Don’t be scared to get a little more creative though and think outside of the box. Many businesses have successfully agreed term-time only contracts for employees who are balancing their careers with caring responsibilities.
Be prepared for an influx of holiday requests
At this time of year, many of us are tempted by the prospect of booking a last-minute getaway. We all like a bit of sun and sand, but when your staff are planning a mass exodus, the situation can turn into a major headache. Remember that giving priority to staff with children could be discriminatory.
You don't have to say yes to holiday requests! If you feel like you’re struggling to manage them, it might be time to implement a more robust system. This can ensure that your processes are fair, open and equal, and that you’re ready for the challenges that the summer holiday period can bring.
Take the time to rethink your priorities
Many workplaces experience a bit of a lull during the summer months. Staff are away on holiday, they’re thinking about spending time with the kids, and you might find yourself slipping into the trap of letting the time just pass you by. Instead of going down this route, take the opportunity to get your leadership team together and focus on where you’re going.
What are your priorities for the rest of the year? What challenges do you need to overcome? What opportunities exist that you aren’t tapping into? A little planning can go a long way.
If the summer season is causing employee headaches in your business, seek out professional assistance. This is often exactly what you need to get things back on the right track, and stop small issues from escalating into something more serious.
Give The Human Resource a call today on 07884 475303. Or download our free E-book, "Everything you need to know about employee holidays" for the lowdown on applying fair rules consistently, safeguarding your company against legal claims and rebooting productivity after a long break.