How to be productive despite the holidays

Do companies plan properly for times when resources (man, machine or material) run low? This year, it is safe to say that Lockdown regulations have literally forced every company in the world to adapt to functioning with fewer resources. As we head into the festive season, we look at how companies can better prepare for quieter periods and circumvent production or sales losses as a result.

 

1. Be proactive

Vacation is good for employee energy, creativity and overall morale, which is why managers need to be aware of every school holiday and public holiday that could potentially leave the company short-staffed. In identifying “red” days on which productivity could be affected negatively, managers can plan an appropriate course of action.

 

2. Implement overtime schedules

Nobody likes to work overtime but it is often the only way to manage productivity effectively over the festive season to ensure that production is met. By being proactive, managers could plan an overtime schedule so as to limit the inconvenience caused when personnel take leave.

 

3. Consider skills cross-training

If there are any areas in your business, particularly “at risk” areas that can only function if a particular person is at work, sound the alarm! It is just too risky! Employees fall ill, go on holiday or resign but the show must go on. Start implementing skill cross-training in these sensitive areas to prevent a complete standstill in production.

 

4. Using quiet times productively

The holiday season doesn’t have to mean “Closed for business”. Some important departments can flourish and work more effectively when it is quieter.

a) Marketing – Use this time to brainstorm ideas with marketing teams, plan, strategise, create and schedule content. Don’t neglect to communicate with audiences. Just because sales are slow it doesn’t mean your audiences aren’t active on social media. Talk to them!

b) Train/upskill – Why not upskill and hone employees’ skills through online training programs, books etc.

c) Catch up & plan ahead – Make sure any backlogs are completed. Now is also a great time to plan ahead, update yourself on industry trends and think outside of the box.

d) Maintenance – Be sure to plan any equipment maintenance, repairs or testing as well as IT updates etc. in advance to fully utilise this period.

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