Everyone loves a vacation. Whether you’re sleeping in late, relaxing by the pool or just catching up on your favorite shows from the comfort of your own home, a vacation can provide a much-needed break from work and routine.
Paid time off for employees, however, often results in extra hours, delegation and stress for small business owners. When a company only has a handful of employees, the absence of just one or two colleagues can put a huge burden on the remaining staff. Indeed, PTO can stretch a company’s resources and have even the most organized small business owner up against the ropes.
If you’re hoping to ease the impact of PTO on your company, give these suggestions a try the next holiday or vacation season:
In a perfect world, we’d all take multiple weeks off to relax and enjoy time with our families regardless of what might be on the calendar at work. The reality, however, is that work sometimes has to dictate when employees can take leave. Create a PTO policy that’s transparent and fair. By offering time off on a first come, first serve basis, you can ensure that folks requesting time off for holidays or vacations are given the respect they deserve. Consider including phone coverage in your policy to ensure that even when your employees are away, callers always get in touch with someone helpful. An answering service for small businesses can help ensure you never miss a call, even during the busy holiday season.
Master the Art of Delegation
Delegating tasks is easier said than done. It’s nice to imagine a world in which you break up projects into smaller chunks and have individual team members tackle each part. The reality? It’s often just easier to do things yourself. Delegating is a long-term strategy that takes time, patience and understanding. If you’re hoping to master the art of delegation, it pays to prepare in advance. Rather than wait until there’s a fire, work with your team to design a structure of backups. Make sure there is always someone available to take over an employee’s duties in the event of an emergency or PTO. Start your delegation initiative weeks before vacation is due to begin and you’ll all be more comfortable with the tasks at hand.
While telling clients that you’re short-staffed might seem like a bad idea, communicating your availability is critical if you hope to earn their respect and their business. There’s no need to go into much detail about why your team is short a few people over a given time. A simple explanation that folks are out of the office enjoying their hard-earned vacations is enough to satisfy curious minds.
Ideally, clients wouldn’t notice a change in service based on your employee PTO plans. The reality is, though, that plenty of businesses announce changes in their offerings based on availability. Rather than fret about how your services must change in the face of PTO, ensure your team has the administrative coverage they need during vacation and holidays.
Call in the Reinforcements
You’ve got an all-star team that you’ve carefully curated to meet the needs of your customers. When the all-stars need a break, though, consider relying on a different kind of office superhero: the virtual receptionist. Available night and day, 365 days a year, a virtual receptionist knows your business inside and out and is ready to answer phones the second they ring.
MAP Communications employs a brilliant team of these administrative heroes to help support our clients around the clock. Highly-trained and resourceful, these receptionists are the cure for PTO woes. Based right here in the United States, our team is ready to tackle any call that comes their way. They can even work from a customized script to communicate the exact messaging you want to convey to callers.
When you’ve got fewer employees in the office, it’s easy to let calls slide to voicemail. Too often, though, callers take a voicemail box as a sign to hang up and call a competitor instead. When every missed call is a missed opportunity for business, you can’t afford to let the phone keep ringing. Prepare for your next busy PTO season now by partnering with MAP. Even if your business is not necessarily seasonal, there will always be times when you’re more short-staffed than others. Knowing what lies ahead is the first step to success, but being proactive in your search for solutions is an even better path to take.
If you’re ready to partner with MAP, reach out to us for a free week-long trial of our live answering services. With zero obligations, this trial requires no contracts or signatures. All that’s needed is a willingness to try something new for your business! Fill out this form or give us a call to get started and one of our experienced team members will help put together a customized solution just for you!