Managing the business of caring for your employees and yourself


Dec. 15. As we enter the holidays while still in a pandemic, it is a special time of year for all families. COVID has made this time of year more poignant for many people and offers us an opportunity to look at things we do with a fresh perspective.

Things are not normal—we are still in a pandemic. Though we find new ways to function, few of us are at full function with ease. Constant change and COVID-related factors take a silent toll we don’t always understand.

Consider: As you manage, sometimes your business may need to be the best it can be in different ways than before.

The holiday season adds pressures for balancing business hours that accommodate customer expectations. Now, with what is called the Great Resignation, it may be appropriate to reconsider how you treat employees—and yourself—so everyone can do their best.

Be sensitive and sensible

Will everyone in your organization be treated equitably in your scheduling procedures?  Employees around the nation seem to be weighing how well they are being treated compared to how they believe they deserve to be treated.

Their behavior indicates they are intolerant of feeling disrespected, undervalued, under compensated, or unfairly burdened.

Ask: How are your employees evaluating your treatment of them?

• And how well are you yourself functioning?

• Is it time to consider upcoming holiday schedules and winter hours, with a fresh perspective?

You want your business to be its very best; maybe that looks different today than standards you used three years ago.

Do some soul-searching

• Can you gain efficiencies? Would your business, with its current lower than normal staffing levels, be better served by having a beginning or end of day hour closed to outside business to allow uninterrupted higher quality administrative-only time for everyone? It may help everyone be more efficient and feel less fractionalized.

• Can you improve service quality? It takes a LOT of time to appease disappointed customers. Reducing hours of availability may allow overall higher quality service. Instead of being ‘always-open’ should a new way of doing business take hold to reduce the total hours your business is open?

• Could tighter control improve your profit margins? Thoughtfully organizing daily behind the scenes functions can allow for more effective controls, and clarity of purpose. Tighter focus can add to deep thinking in problem solving and fewer errors to correct later.

As you prepare for holiday scheduling proceed with care

• Is reasonable parity being extended to each employee at every level of the organization regarding who receives premium holiday time off?

• Are schedules allowing employees—and you—to truly rest well and enjoy a better work-life balance?

• Do your policies allow fair and transparent rotation over all major holidays?

• Do policies specifically define how scheduling is decided, or do you allow unstated expectations among employees to silently pressure some employees to acquiesce to other employees?

• Should you restrict access to your services to emergency only service, or close altogether during specific holidays or hours or days of the week?

As you work to be a great employer and business manager, consider innovative approaches. Think about the makeup of your employees and their need for reliable structured work hours.

Life is just so COVID-complicated

• People need rest to stay healthy, and to be clear-thinking when managing their work tasks.

• Elderly parents, childcare, and home management fall disproportionately on women.

• Sudden requests for overtime are onerous for almost everyone, particularly at this time of year.

• Workers without children have just as many personal responsibilities as workers with children.

• All workers have a need for separation of work and personal life—don’t burn them—or yourself—out.


Unprecedented times create opportunities for novel solutions and a full reframing of existing processes.

Today is a time when change is normal and common for all of us. To reduce undesirable turnover, to be a desirable employer, and to help everyone be able to do their very best each day at work, consider what you can do to help that occur.

Cheryl Kane

Cheryl Kane, MBA, PHR, GPHR, SHRM-SCP, is a strategic business consultant, sales trainer, & professional speaker specializing in problem solving and service quality. Email her at: [email protected]


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