It’s good policy to encourage workers to take vacation breaks. But you’ll want to be ready for the possibility of summer staffing shortages.

3 Ways to Cope with Summer Staffing Shortages

As a business owner, it’s good policy to encourage your workers to take breaks from being in the office. At the same time, you’ll want to prepare for the possibility that you’ll have a lot of folks missing this summer. A little advanced planning could save you a world of stress. 

U.S. employees expect to take 10 days off from work, on average, between June and August this year. 

That’s good because getting away helps us all better focus on the job and improve productivity. But if you’re worried about being short-staffed between now and Labor Day, here’s how to cope with summer staffing: 

1. Insist on advanced notice

Last-minute time-off requests, especially during periods when it’s common for employees to be out of the office, are never welcome. While you want to be flexible as far as vacation notice goes, summertime is when you may need to insist on advanced warnings to the tune of one month or longer. This way, you’ll be able to plan accordingly for all of those absences. 

2. Implement a backup system

Chances are, many of your employees have unique roles, with responsibilities that no one else in the company is currently doing. That’s a good thing in theory because it means you’re not paying multiple people to do the same thing needlessly, but it can be problematic when you have a lot of employees out of the office at once. 

The solution? Invest in some training so that people in different areas of the business can back one another up as needed. This way, you don’t have to worry about gaps when key players take time off. Just as importantly, having a companywide backup plan will help ensure that workers aren’t forced to constantly check in during vacation, since that effectively defeats the purpose of getting away. 

3. Rely on temps

If you expect a large number of employee absences over the summer, falling back on temps is a good way to ease the burden on everyone else.  

Better yet, if you find a few good temporary workers who are willing to learn different parts of the business, you’ll have people to rely on all summer long.  

And you may get the option to bring those temps back in during busier periods — say, during the holidays or whenever your business gets really busy.