Hello, and welcome to September
I’d like to start this month with a question… did anyone see August? It’s madness that it’s September already. The forecasters are promising one last balmy week before summer is in the can.
I hope you’ve had a great summer. Me and my team all managed to get away for a bit of it and enjoy some rest and relaxation. My children had a fabulous 6 weeks off school and (unlike previous years) were able to spend most of it outdoors.
A parents struggle with the school holiday juggle - The difficulties facing the average UK worker
Before I move on to some updates, I wanted to just acknowledge the school holidays from a parent’s point of view. It’s really tough. School aged children get 13 weeks off school every year, plus a few teacher training days here and there. The majority of workers are entitled to 5.6 weeks of paid holiday per year. So, even in a family with two working parents taking no holiday time together, there isn’t enough paid holiday to cover all 13 weeks to care for their children.
Yes, it’s the same every year, school holidays are not sprung on us. But the pressure is there every year. Where are the children going to be every day to allow you to keep up with your 9-5 or equivalent? Can you afford all the clubs and day trips? Are the grandparents able and willing to help out? Could one of you reduce your working hours over the summer? Could one of you take unpaid leave, would you even get it approved?
Then there’s the other side of the coin, you’re at work and your kids are at clubs or with the grandparents. And there’s all the posts on social media about how many summers you have with your children and how you must make the most of them. Plus, all the photos of all the amazing experiences and days out every other family are having. There is the guilt every holiday that a working parent gets.
I always feel a relief when they go back to school and it isn’t because I don’t like spending time with my children and it’s not that I can’t wait to get rid of them, it’s because the choices and decisions are out of my hands. They have to be at school, so for those hours Monday to Friday, I don’t have to feel guilty about being a working parent.
I wanted to write about this because if you’re an employer or a manager of people with children, just check in with them. The summer holidays in particular can be tough mentally and financially. Just a quick catch up to let them speak, maybe vent, or mourn that it’s over, will go a long, long way.
September's a great time to make changes within your business
With the arrival of September, everything stabilises. People are back in the office and working at full speed again. Email traffic is back to where it was and we’re in the run up to, dare I say it… Christmas!
Everyone’s routines are back to normal. There's traffic on the roads again. People are heading back to the gym after a break. It is a good time for reflection for many businesses. After the usual period of flux over the summer, you and your team might have new ideas, new goals, new ambitions. September is the perfect time to sit down with everyone and have a good one-to-one to check where everyone’s heads are at.
Now is the perfect time to introduce changes or tweaks to the business. Start this period of ramping up the way you wish to carry on.
September is also one of the three busiest times in the year for recruiters, as people decide after a summer of fun that it’s time to change jobs. So, if you are thinking of recruiting, now is a great time as we get a surge in motivated job seekers and a big rise in passive job searchers dipping their toes.
Seasonal business and the demand for Christmas temps
As employers and managers, we’re always looking ahead at what is coming and planning for it and I’ve said the word once already but I’m going to have to pull it out again, Christmas! Yes, Christmas is the next big staffing juggle on the horizon.
We have little over 100 days until Christmas.
If you’re a seasonal business, you might need to increase your team to cater for increased demand or service needs. If you’re non-seasonal you might have increased holiday taking to consider.
The earlier you start thinking about your Christmas needs the easier it will be. Check your team have got all their holiday requests in and you can overlay your seasonal business forecast. If you are going to need an extra pair of hands, we can help you. We can supply temporary skilled workers or help you recruit longer term team members. Just get in touch with me or my team to chat through what support you think you might need.
That’s it for another month. I hope you have a great September and are able to set the scene now for going into the last quarter of the year from October. Remember, we’re here if and when you need us.