The holidays are right around the corner, which means that in the coming weeks, you're likely to find yourself short-staffed at work, and perhaps under pressure. Now, imagine what life at the office would be like if you were to have no choice but to operate on a skeleton staff year-round as a result of having lost key employees to better offers.
It's a risk all companies face in today's healthy job market. And since the start of a new year is a popular time to job-hunt, it stands to reason that if you don't give your employees a good reason to stay, they may start blasting out their resumes once 2020 kicks off.
That's why it pays to be extra flexible with your staff during the holidays. If you're willing to grant them a modest amount of leeway, they may be less hesitant to jump ship once the new year rolls around and outside job openings become increasingly available. Here are just a few ways you can be more flexible in the coming weeks.
1. Allow for some work-from-home days
Even if your company doesn't support work-from-home arrangements in general, it pays to let your employees so do from time to time between now and the end of the year. That way, your workers can spend time with family during the holidays without having to worry about using up their paid time off, and parents with young kids don't have to scramble for child care when school's not in session for the last week or so of the year.
2. Aim to accommodate last-minute time-off requests
Having too many employees out during the holiday can put you in a tough spot, especially if your team has year-end deadlines to meet. That said, not everyone is able to request holiday time off in advance. It could be the case that one of your employees suddenly finds a cheap flight home and can make the trip, but can't ask to take vacation until the last minute. And if you do everything in your power to grant such overnight requests, your employees will no doubt appreciate that accommodation.
3. Let workers start celebrating a bit early
Maybe Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve are full, eight-hour workdays at your company. But if you have the authority to dismiss your team early, do so. Not only it is a nice gesture, but it'll help your employees truly enjoy their celebrations without feeling like they have to rush to attend them. And chances are, things will be somewhat quiet in the office those days anyway.
The more flexibility -- and courtesy -- you show your employees during the holidays, the more likely they'll be to remain loyal and avoid searching for new jobs once hiring opens up in the new year. Not only is being flexible this season a key means of employee retention, but it's also, frankly, a nice thing to do. And if you have hard-working people on your team, they deserve at least that much.