Smart Holiday Staffing
The Christmas season is a crucial time during which you must find the balance between hiring enough extra staff members to help your shop function smoothly and not “breaking” yourself with a fat holiday payroll.
Proper staffing involves two primary concerns. First, you must determine the number of employees you will need to get the work done efficiently and correctly. Second, you must organize your current employees and establish responsibility and clear lines of authority. Within these two areas, there are important considerations that will help you in your planning.
figure staff based on sales
A quick holiday analysis for the last few years will give you an indication of how your holiday staffing needs vary from regular daily needs. For nonholiday days, all you really need to know are sales by the day of the week. During the holiday season, it’s a good idea to also look at sales by the number of days before the holiday. Compare last year’s figures to this year’s calendar. Factor in any overall sales increases or decreases you are experiencing to determine how your holiday sales will most likely track.
Too many florists immediately turn to overtime to make it through the hectic holiday rush. An hourly wage increased by 50 percent — plus the hidden cost caused by the decreased productivity of overtime workers — can be expensive. During the year, build a group of part-time workers who agree to increase their hours during the busy seasons. The hours they add will be at their regular wage rates because they aren’t working a full 40-hour week.
Look for additional part-timers who can work in your store if needed — again, at regular, non-overtime rates. During the holidays, there are always people who want to gain a little extra cash.
cut if you must
Your projections may indicate you are overstaffed. If your daily sales analysis shows that only two designers are needed and you have four designers on staff, you may need to make a decision about letting employees go. Even though this may be a hard choice, the alternative is even worse. You can’t allow overstaffing to push profits down.
There are some alternatives, however. You may wish to propose that everyone cut back a few hours or that a couple of staff members use a job-sharing arrangement. And there may be someone who would prefer to work fewer hours.