HIGHTSTOWN, N.J. (11/29/10)--Workplace scheduling for the holidays--and making sure everyone stays in the spirit of the season--can be a challenge. Here are some guidelines from Administaff.com for keeping the credit union adequately staffed during the holidays. (New Jersey Credit Union League The Weekly Exchange
* Establish ground rules before the holiday season. Clearly spell out holiday work requirements and scheduling practices. Without a firm policy, employees may feel they are entitled to take time off whenever they feel like it. * Put your holiday policy in writing and distribute it to every employee. * Be careful when granting permission to roll over time to next year. Consider stipulating that only a limited amount of unused vacation time can be moved into the next year. * Specify blackout dates. Conflict can usually be avoided by communicating blackout dates, in which attendance is required of everyone, at the time of hiring and providing regular reminders. * Plan for conflict. Conflicts may arise if the number of employees requesting vacations exceeds the minimum coverage threshold. Establish a fair process for resolving such matters. * Consider a compressed workweek. Instead of scheduling five eight-hour days, give employees the option of working four 10-hour days. * Send them all home. If you can, consider closing for a week. * Respect diversity. Most religions have some sort of year-end celebration. Vacation policies should allow for some manager discretion. * Be flexible. Recognize that when dealing with people there are no absolutes. Time-off policies should allow for some manager discretion. * Keep it upbeat. Take a positive approach when discussing the time-off policy with employees. Emphasize the consideration that went into establishing a system that is fair and functional.