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Strategies for Effective Summer Coverage

Summertime signals many different things: longer days, breaks from school, childcare needs and, of course, family vacations. For businesses, this season also brings unique challenges in maintaining productivity while accommodating employees’ time off. 

As such, this time of year demands a summer coverage strategy, especially if you expect to have several team members out for a significant period. A robust strategy, coupled with contingent workforce solutions, ensures projects and daily operations stay on track, while also alleviating stress for both vacationing employees and those covering in the office. For those looking to bring on support, we’ll outline ways to optimize your coverage and ensure seamless operations.  

Early Planning & Workforce Analysis 

Time is of the essence when it comes to seasonal staffing. Analyzing where you will need support early allows you to procure resources before a need becomes critical. This forward planning involves reviewing historical data on summer workloads, understanding who might be out (and when), and identifying the impacts on various departments.  

This historical insight allows you to anticipate needs and prepare for the future, as you will be able to confidently devise business strategies appropriate to your company’s needs. If necessary, engage your go-to staffing partner during this phase so they can begin sourcing candidates early, ensuring a better match and smoother integration into your team. 

Define Requirements 

Due diligence in the planning phase will enable you to clearly define your needs and requirements for the summer months ahead. Each of your departments may have unique needs based on their specific function, which may be impacted to varying degrees by various employees’ summer vacation plans. Clearly understanding the dynamics at play will help you identify potential skills gaps or expertise that might be lacking. The accounting department, for instance, might need extra support during the end-of-quarter financial reconciliation. This insight should be integrated into your overall strategy, which in turn will allow you to craft clear job descriptions if you need to bring on resources.  

Maintain Communication  

A robust feedback mechanism ensures that any mismatches or issues can be addressed promptly, allowing for adjustments that maintain productivity and morale. Schedule regular check-ins with your teams, managers, and staffing partners. These meetings are opportunities to address concerns, provide guidance, and adjust roles as necessary. This open line of communication will allow you to quickly fix any hiccups in onboarding procedures too, making the process smoother for subsequent hires. Share successes, as well as any challenges faced, openly and honestly. If you’re working with a staffing firm, this information is crucial for enhancing the level of service.

Integration with the Team 

Ensuring that contract staff feel part of the team is essential for their effectiveness and the overall team’s morale. This is especially critical if you anticipate growing your business, as contractors can easily transition to full-time employees. One easy way to do this is to facilitate introductions between contractors and permanent staff, even if it isn’t strictly necessary from an operations standpoint. Make a point to welcome them during various team meetings. Doing so will bolster your organizational culture and encourage an inclusive atmosphere where all employees are valued and recognized.

Continual Improvement 

Companies should view every summer stretch as an opportunity to learn and refine their strategy for the future. This goes for those organizations adding resources or simply those that need to rearrange their teams. Ongoingly, or after a project has concluded, conduct a review session with leadership and/or your recruiting partners to discuss what went well and what could be improved. This evaluation should focus on the process, candidate quality, and outcomes. Using the insights gained from this review will help you plan for future contingent workforce needs. 

Embrace Flexibility

In general, embracing flexibility through remote work options and hybrid schedules can make a significant difference during the long summer months. Many companies are back in the office, but the past few years have shown us that employees can be just as productive on a hybrid schedule. Companies should consider adding this increased flexibility to accommodate employee needs, especially those with childcare demands. By doing so, businesses can ensure that operations continue smoothly during the summer. This approach not only supports employee well-being but also fosters a more resilient and adaptable workforce.

By implementing these strategies, you ensure that your summer coverage needs are met. Moreover, forging a partnership with a staffing firm not only covers your immediate seasonal needs but also strengthens your overall business strategy. This approach makes your organization more adaptable and resilient over the long term.  So, if you need summertime support or are looking to grow your business, contact us today!

Photo Credit: Canva

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