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Tips to Prevent Your FEC from Being Understaffed

Eileen Hawkins
Apr 21, 2020 8:46 AM

Picture this: You have a day full of booked parties, and it's looking to be a busy weekend day for walk-in guests as well. All is well, right?

Sure, until Johnny called out sick early this morning and you've already approved the mini-vacation that your management staff who wasn't on the schedule for today asked for.

Now you're faced with a busy day at your facility and are understaffed. This could be a recipe for disaster if you haven't properly prepared in the event these sudden staffing
emergencies occur.

Following are a few ways to help prevent your facility from becoming understaffed in the first place, as well as for effectively handling an under-staffing issue should it unexpectedly arise.

Tips to Prevent Your FEC from Understaffing

  • Avoid hiring staff (especially teenage employees) from
    same school. Many of your employees are likely are going to be teenagers. This is great, however you want to make sure you're not hiring too many of them from the same school or district.

    If your staff members attend the same school, they're going to have the same school vacation weeks, as well as the same event dates such as prom and graduation, especially if they're the same age.

    Hiring employees from different towns and schools will help cut down on the amount of time-off requests for the same days that you're bound to receive if you don't do this.

  • Make sure your staff is cross-trained. Your employees, especially the individuals on your management team, should be trained in all responsibility areas, so that in the event you need to have someone fill-in for a shift or supervise a certain area of your facility they don't normally work with, they still have no problem being positioned there.

    Hosting refresher training sessions periodically is a great idea
    to make sure potentially important areas that everyone should
    know how to do and that should be regularly attended to
    aren't forgotten.

  • Always schedule an "on-call" staff member for each shift.
    To prevent yourself from under-staffing, make sure you put someone "on-call" for each shift. This is a person that, in the event a regularly scheduled staff member calls out sick or you have a very busy weekday you weren't expecting, will be called to come in and work.

    It helps to treat these shifts as a gift to motivate people. Find
    out which members of your staff are looking for more hours.
    Let them know that priority for being put on the "on-call" schedule will be given to the hardest and most efficient
    workers as a reward.

    This is a "win-win" for both you and your employees! Your top staff members are being rewarded with the chance to make extra money, and in case your day doesn't go as planned, you have a hardworking individual waiting to be called in to give guests at your facility the best experience possible.

  • Create deadlines and rules for time-off requests.
    It's unrealistic to think you're never going to run into staffing emergencies. Life happens. People get sick. Cars break down. However, if you plan as far in advance as possible, the amount
    of time-off requests for last-minute road trips or the family vacation one of your employees "completely forgot to tell you about" are likely to be greatly reduced.

    At the end of each quarter, ask all of your staff to submit any requests for time-off they know they're going to need in the next three months. This way, you'll be able to see where dates overlap that may create under-staffing problems, so you have ample time to handle it. Whether you give time-of preference to seniority, employees who've worked for you the longest, your hardest-working staff, or simply first-come, first-serve, avoiding staff shortages is best done through advanced planning.

    In the event someone asks for time-off after the deadline you've set out, let them know it's their responsibility to find someone to take their shift, or you won't be able to approve the request.

Get Started!

It's obvious there are numerous additional ways to prevent your family entertainment center from being understaffed. If you
start by using the above tips as a starting point, you'll be well on your way to having a facility that runs like a well-oiled machine, complete with enough staff to provide the best guest
experience possible.

Be Prepared for Any FEC Emergency 

If you're interested in learning about other FEC Emergencies you may run into and tips for how to overcome them, download your copy of our complimentary resource, IN CASE OF EMERGENCY:
An Emergency Preparedness Guide to Help Your FEC Overcome the Unexpected.

Click here or the image below to download your copy now.Click here to download your complimentary guide on Emergency Preparedness now!

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