Navigating downtime can be challenging. Some PROs in colder climates may completely shut down portable restroom rentals, whereas others reduce staffing to account for a drop in weekly services. With continued labor shortages, many portable restroom owners are concerned about losing great employees and coping with spring rehiring issues.
Do you have a slow-season strategy? Being prepared can help your company retain staff and weather extended downtime. Here’s how to manage employees during the slow season.
Newer PROs often need to figure out what to expect during the slow season. A lack of historical data makes it hard to know if or when you will lay off employees. Therefore, developing a winter plan that maps out various contingency options is essential.
First, brush up on unemployment laws. Although PROs don’t want to lay off employees, it’s hard to avoid when business grinds to a halt. Review the costs of staff positions and decide how you will determine layoffs. Some portable restroom operators start with newer employees. Other PROs cut unnecessary jobs, regardless of tenure.
Next, be open with your staff. Give them time to make alternative plans and provide details on their options, such as side jobs or applying for unemployment. Lastly, think about how you will keep the remaining staff busy and avoid losing business. You can diversify your services, catch up on maintenance, or reorganize the shop.
Many PROs have added new services to stay profitable during winter. Doing so allows them to lay off fewer people. Diversification also protects your business from downturns related to the economy or weather disasters. Part of PROs’ winter plans may include using service trucks or skid steers to plow snow and expanding their rental business to include event and homeowners rentals. Since you already rent portable restrooms, adding construction rental equipment or party supplies isn’t a large stretch.
Likewise, you may still get requests for restroom trailers. Consider winterizing a few units and booking them ahead of the slowdown. You may be able to service holiday events or provide sanitary spaces for interior construction projects.
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Just because you have downtime doesn’t mean there aren’t plenty of tasks to keep you busy. However, motivation can drop as the winter season drags on. And other businesses may be lying in wait to poach your staff as they grow bored with work or an extended layoff. The key is to involve your team, including those still coming to work and those waiting for the business to pick up before they can return.
Use these slow-season suggestions to uplift your workforce:
When work slows down and holidays pass, those remaining months of downtime can seem long and dreary. Motivate staff by creating an engagement strategy. Even laid-off employees benefit from hearing from you. Interacting with them can ensure they return in the spring motivated to rejoin your team and help your portable restroom business succeed.
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