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Healthcare Staffing: Avoid a Holiday Headache

How to Avoid Holiday Staffing Problems

The holidays are a special and significant time when people spend time with family and friends. While everyone enjoys having this celebratory time with loved ones, it also means that people are more likely to take time off of work. Even though everyone deserves an occasional holiday, healthcare needs don’t recognize dates on the calendar.

But people are still sick and in need of treatment even on holidays. However, facilities may be understaffed because of healthcare employees taking time off from work during this time of year. Making sure the patients’ needs are still met even throughout the holiday season can be a challenge. Here’s how to prevent those kinds of holiday staffing problems and allow your employees time off while meeting patient care needs as well.

Limit Time Off

One old-fashioned approach to dealing with holiday staffing is to limit time off. If you refuse to allow employees to take time off during the holidays, it ensures that staffing levels will stay reasonably consistent to meet patient needs. But this approach is only effective in the short term because most employees are unhappy with it. Employees will eventually get burned out and move on to jobs that are more flexible, creating new staffing problems.

Stagger Employee Holiday Schedules

An alternative to refusing to allow time off during the holidays is to stagger which employees have to work on which holidays. You can divide employees into a couple of groups. The first group will have certain holidays off, like Thanksgiving and New Year’s Eve, while the second group has Christmas and New Year’s Day. The two groups will rotate days off each year, so that each employee can predict when they’ll have Thanksgiving and Christmas off from work.

Offer Incentives for Working Holidays

Although people like to have time off at the holidays, extra money is another big holiday need. Employers can sweeten the deal and encourage their staff to work holidays by offering incentive pay. By paying more money for working holidays, employees may be more likely to show up to work on special days. But be aware that this plan has two drawbacks. It costs more money, in the long run, to pay extra for holiday pay. And generally, the amount that you have to pay to make it worthwhile for employees to work is quite a bit extra, at least double the usual pay.

Hire Short-Term Temporary Staffing

The best and simplest solution to keep employees happy and meet patient needs at the same time is to hire outside temporary staffing. Adding extra employees to cover the holiday season allows your current employees to take time off. Assisted Home Health & Hospice delivers quality talent through a broad array of flexible staffing solutions. You can rest assured that Assisted’s temporary employees will be well-qualified and highly-skilled. Your patients will still be served just as well, without any interruption in service and care. The best staffing solution should be completely seamless in the eyes of your patients.

When you choose the right way to manage holiday staffing, you can still maintain high standards for patient care and give your permanent employees the break they deserve. To learn more about Assisted Supplemental Staffing, please visit Assisted’s Supplemental Staffing or call us at 805-379-3031.

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