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Christmas and the holiday season are fast approaching. Everyone is “busy” trying to juggle work commitments – getting projects and tasks completed so we can cleanly and neatly wrap up everything we are doing before we walk out the door on Christmas eve. This hype of busy activity doesn’t necessarily make us productive. With the distraction of Christmas parties, trying to come up with ideas for gifts and navigating the crowds of people at the shops to buy gifts along with trying to prepare menus for Christmas celebrations often our employees can be more distracted (and stressed) than ever.
Regardless of if the business is flat out trying to wrap up projects and tasks in the lead up to Christmas and over the January holiday period or if you are trying to have a bit of a cleanse and get yourself and the business organised for the year ahead, making the most of this time is critical and you no doubt want to ensure its productive time. It can be challenging keeping your team focussed and productive at this time of year. Everyone also seems to be that little more tired; pushing themselves just to hold on for the next couple of weeks for that desperately needed holiday to recharge the batteries.
This is where engaging a temp in your business can be extremely valuable to enhance productivity.
Here are some of the benefits I have observed other businesses experience.
Bringing in a temp now (early December) will help spread the workload and ensure your team gets to Christmas eve and achieves the tasks they need to but then throughout January you can give more of your team time off while the temp holds the fort. A temp will be happy to work over the Christmas and January period as this is often what they expect.
Many businesses I talk to try to run a skeleton staff over this period which sometimes means that holidays can be a little dis-jointed to ensure business coverage at all times. A temp can streamline this, allowing members of your team who want holidays to take a good break and recharge the batteries for the year ahead.
A temp throughout the lead up to Christmas also eases the stress in getting things done before Christmas. Where possible you don’t want to be adding to employee stress levels during this period and sometimes the work our clients expect done prior to Christmas can put the pressure on. Managing the workload realistically with additional resources, if genuinely required, will do wonders for your culture. Your employees won’t leave for the Christmas break feeling worked to the bone, under appreciated and burnt out. Given that the new year and new year resolutions can be a catalyst for people deciding to change jobs you don’t want to leave your employee feeling exhausted as they start their holidays. Otherwise chances are, as they lie on the beach over the holiday period they’ll decide that they don’t want to keep doing what they’ve been doing and want a change of job.
I also often see businesses have their team members work at various periods over the January period when business is quiet, simply to clean up from the year before. Sorting files, archiving documents, just general tidy up and set up of new files and systems for the year ahead. Sometimes I see senior managers and executives doing these tasks. I’ve even been guilty of this myself and even though it is kind of a nice cleansing feeling to clean up the old and set up the new, I wonder if this really is the best use of our time or our team members time. What could they be working on instead to really set the business up for the new year? Couldn’t a temp undertake this clean up and set up to free up that team member to have a break and recharge the batteries? Or what higher level tasks or ideas could you or your team work on to really enhance the business for the year ahead? I know my time would be much more productive working on new ideas and strategy; basically, working on the business rather than in it, which during the year can be a juggle to create time for. So why wouldn’t I better utilise this time instead of cleaning up and setting up?
Sometimes I see people fall in to the trap of thinking a temp won’t be worth it by the time you train them up in your systems and procedures and show them the ropes. And while yes there will need to be an investment of time in this regard, I also often find people are pleasantly surprised at how quickly an experienced temp can hit the ground running. This is what they do, it’s their profession to seamlessly step in and out of businesses to enhance productivity. If you find yourself or your team dropping the busy word a little too frequently in the lead up to Christmas maybe it’s time to consider a temp to help your productivity.
Angela Connor is the Founder and Director of Inspire HQ, one of regional Victoria’s leading recruitment, human resource and career coaching companies. She understands the significance of having the right team of people in a business and is passionate about helping business to attract, recruit and engage the right people so those people can inject their talents into the business; creating an environment where they can do great work and love what they do. Find more useful information and advice at www.inspirehq.com.au or by following Angela on LinkedIn.