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Festive Franchise Part III:Surviving the Holidays with a Skeleton Staff
Running your franchise with a skeleton crew

Franchise Finder

The festive season is here and most of your staff have gleefully run off on their holidays, leaving you to hold the fort until they return in the new year. How will you ever cope? With Franchise Finderís guide to running your franchise with a skeleton crew, thatís how!

What is a Skeleton Staff?
Itís the minimum number of employees you need to keep your business operational during holidays or weekends.

Seven Steps to Keep Your Franchise Running Smoothly

Step One: Set Priorities
Some weeks before the holiday season begins, sit down and define the core tasks which are crucial to keep your franchise business going. Write down those tasks which must be accomplished on a daily, weekly and monthly basis.

Step Two: Know the Numbers
Get a list of those employees who are going away and their key performance areas. Then, review a list of those employees who will be remaining behind.

Step Three: Spread the Workload
Referring to your list of core tasks defined in Step One, assign tasks to those left behind. To keep things manageable and staff focused, try to give just one or two extra tasks to each person. Donít forget to assign a task to yourself, as well. Some franchise staff can get disgruntled with doing tasks that arenít theirs, or that they think are beneath them Ė seeing you as part of the skeleton crew can help eliminate this attitude.

Step Four: Train
Before your franchise employees go on leave, get them to train those whoíve been nominated to cover for them during the holidays. Make sure that all members of your skeleton staff are familiar with what they need to do and that they have any information they require. Get your skeleton crew together and give them a pep talk Ė stress how important it is to the franchise to keep up your regular standards.

Step Five Ė Schedule Breaks
Extra work can mean extra hours Ė which can make franchise staff grumpy, especially when they know other people are enjoying a nice holiday. Make sure that you timetable shifts so that employees are still able to take regular breaks. If working longer hours is inevitable, pay your skeleton crew extra or negotiate to give them time off when things get back to normal.

Step Six Ė Touch Base
Donít just leave your skeleton crew to their own devices and assume everythingís ticking over nicely Ė check in with your franchise employees regularly to see if theyíre coping with the extra tasks, whether there have been any unforeseen snags or if they need any help.

Step Seven Ė Reward
Donít under-estimate the importance of a kind word or gesture. Whether itís a personal note of thanks or a small token of appreciation, itís important to let your skeleton crew know how much you value their extra effort while you were short-staffed.

Author: Franchise Finder, Online Directory of Franchises and Business Opportunities in South Africa


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