It’s here! Daylight Savings has arrived, which means we are a hop, skip and jump to the holidays. Time to deal with the annual puzzle of seasonal staff scheduling,

It’s a given that many people in private service will likely be called upon to work during certain holidays.  It’s the nature of the job.  But it can be tricky to balance scheduling staff to support to their client’s families, while also providing reasonable opportunities for staff to celebrate with their own families.

My advice?  Plan, plan, plan.

As early as possible, identify the dates where the household will need additional support.  See if it’s possible to arrange extra coverage so that no staff member works on every single holiday. With notice, often staff can trade flexibly among themselves.
Build in “Recovery Days” after significant entertaining and parties.  When staff has gone the extra mile with an evening of holiday entertaining, plan for a lighter day to follow.
If staff is essential every day to tidy and serve, consider simplifying menus and duties so they can return to their own homes early in the day.  If this is feasible, plan it in advance.  Impulsively permitting staff to leave early is a kind gesture, but it can be wasted if their families are not prepared to join them.
Holiday Pay should be generous, at least time-and-a- half or double time.  Often staff will volunteer for holiday duty, because that extra cash will help them cover their own holiday gift-giving.
Acknowledge everyone’s extra efforts with gratitude.  Take the time to thank the people who work for you.  Note their presence on these special days.

Bottom line: Strive for an atmosphere of warmth and mutuality. We’re all in this together.

Wishing Happy Holidays to all!

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