Got more time at the end of a workday than you know what to do with? Not likely. Making time for the holidays so you can enjoy them together as a team—much less finding extra time to be available for fun and family time—and making sure customers continue to receive top notch service during this busy time? Tough, bordering on impossible!
But, it doesn’t have to be this way.
How do I know? I was once a stressed-out contractor just like you. I fell in the hole of being steamrolled by the holidays every year. And it was doubly bad when it was a crazy cold winter and we were maxed out covering heating calls and attending to frozen plumbing pipes.
What changed for me and my team? We learned to work together and find time for one another by making it a priority while still looking out for our customers.
I’m here to tell you that it’s possible if you’re willing to let go of what has been and are willing to embrace what can be.
So, here’s what we did as a team:
- We planned ahead. We made sure we had a fully rotating schedule in place for Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year by September 30th so there were no surprises on who was working when.
- We agreed to have a standby crew in waiting. They were paid a standby fee to do just that. It was important to them to know when they’d have to standby and it was important to those working a specific holiday to know that their teammates were in the wings to help if and when the call crush happened.
- We agreed that we all must sacrifice something to get something. So if you worked Thanksgiving, you got to pick if you wanted to cover either Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve, or New Year’s Day.
- We agreed that all of this didn’t apply to just Techs being called into action. It was a call for Owners, Managers and Inside Staff to be there on a rotational basis to lend support to not only customers but to one another.
- We made spending time together both formal and informal. That meant we had our holiday party a week before Christmas in midweek, which every contractor knows is the slowest time of the week. We rotated in and out of the office and everyone ate together and shared the feeling of being a welcomed part of this extended family.
- We collectively shared the commitment to share the true holiday spirit with our customers. That meant focusing on helping our customers by giving them heat when there was none or a toilet that actually flushed before guests were due to arrive. It was the true spirit of holiday giving for contractors and their companies.
- We trained hard before the holidays hit. Everyone was expected to be ready to be productive on the calls we ran and we worked hard to make people feel good.
There is no extra time to be created; this is all you get. There’s only time to be used efficiently. Having manuals and systems in place at your company will make the crazy busy times less crazy. That’s because you’ll know how to maximize your calls while keeping stress to a minimum.
Do this and feel the time stressors abate so you can enjoy your time at work and have time to be with loved ones during the holiday season.