HR challenges

Three key HR challenges for the fourth quarter

We’re quickly approaching the end of the calendar year, but that doesn’t mean that it’s time to rest on your laurels and accept that the writing is already on the wall for 2017.

There are still wins to be made, goals to be hit and of course, challenges to overcome. Before getting stuck into the final quarter, it makes sense to consider the issues that you’re likely to face from a people management perspective – and how you can overcome them to keep things running smoothly. Let’s take a look at how to jump those hurdles.

Annual leave requests going into overdrive

Everyone likes to enjoy a little time off over the festive season. Whether it’s time with the family, trips to Christmas markets, or beers in the pub with friends, staff are often thinking about winding down and getting into the spirit of things – and this can often result in an influx of requests for annual leave.

Your business has operational requirements though, so not all requests can be granted. That’s to be expected, but what’s really important here is how your policies and procedures are set up to tackle any issues and nip potential problems in the bud. You’re no doubt aware of the recent debacle that Ryanair faced in this area – don’t let something similar happen to you!

Bad weather stopping play

We all expect a bit of bad weather over the winter months, and most of the time, everything carries on as usual with minimum disruption. As a business owner though, it’s important to plan for the worst-case scenario. If staff can’t make it into their usual place of work due to disruption to public transport or chaos on the roads, then consider how you’ll cope. It may be the case that you can allow staff to work from home, or create some flexibility around start and finish times.

It’s also worth noting that the Approved Code of Practice stipulates that the temperature in a workplace should be a minimum of 16 degrees Celsius, or 13 degrees Celsius if the work involves rigorous physical effort.

Getting all hands on deck for driving Christmas sales

For many businesses, the final quarter presents a huge opportunity in terms of driving sales. If you want to make big things happen though, you can’t just leave it to chance. The last thing that you want to realise once January comes is that you left a load of cash on the table due to haphazard organisation.

So, what can you do to support your people to facilitate your sales targets?

Consider whether everyone’s up to speed with customer service. Assess whether it might be appropriate to create incentives and bonuses. Ask yourself whether your rotas have been planned carefully for the busy periods. You may want to bring teams together to reaffirm goals, or roll out refresher sales training. Now’s the time to get your ducks in order.

If you need some help with refining your people practices ahead of the final quarter – or you have some unique challenges that you’d like some professional guidance with – then get in touch to arrange an initial consultation, free from any obligation. We’ll get to know a little more about you and your business, and assess whether we may be a good fit for working together to achieve your strategic goals.