A reader writes:
I personal a small enterprise with six full-time workers. One in all my workers, my bookkeeper Leah, has grandchildren and has just lately requested to work part-time (two days off, three days on) in summers so she will spend extra time with them.
She is an efficient, long-standing worker. Nonetheless, this actually presents many challenges for our small firm — primarily, protection for her throughout a brief time period and the way we are going to fill that function and/or cowl the job duties of any workers who’re protecting for her. Her function is exclusive (and he or she has entry to all of our financials) so discovering temp assist throughout this time will likely be difficult and doubtlessly dangerous. That is going to be considerably troublesome to handle on a week-to-week foundation and actually solely advantages the worker, not the employer. What would you do?
If it doesn’t give you the results you want and also you’re keen to threat shedding her over it, you may clarify to Leah that it’s not attainable for her place. From there, it’s as much as her to determine if she nonetheless desires the job, understanding these are the constraints.
Nonetheless, earlier than you try this, be sure you’ve thought by means of the next questions:
• Are you keen to lose Leah over this? There’ll all the time be occasions when the reply to that’s sure, and that’s okay. Otherwise you would possibly notice that whereas it will be inconvenient to accommodate her on this method, it will be extra inconvenient to have to rent and practice somebody new. Or it may not! I can’t inform what the reply is, however be sure you’ve actually thought this by means of first, since that is what all of it comes all the way down to.
• How troublesome would Leah be to switch? That shouldn’t govern the whole resolution because you’ll lose each worker finally, whether or not it’s to a different job, retirement, alien abduction, or so on, and it’s best to by no means really feel so hamstrung by the concept of getting to switch somebody that you just conform to issues that don’t make sense for the enterprise … however you additionally shouldn’t reject worker requests with out giving severe thought to this query first.
• Are there inventive methods to make it work? For instance, perhaps two days per week off each single week of summer season could be laborious to say sure to, however all of August is admittedly sluggish and Leah might take off an enormous quantity of it with out a lot influence. Or perhaps there’s a gifted junior one who’s been asking for stretch alternatives and could be delighted to fill in for Leah and their work could be simpler to search out temp protection for. Or who is aware of what — but when Leah is a long-standing worker who’s achieved good work, it is sensible to see if there’s a option to get you each what you need. Perhaps there isn’t — however give it some thought first.
Additionally, generally with questions like this, individuals will say, “Don’t say sure except you’d be keen to supply the identical factor to others who ask for it.” That’s price eager about too, but it surely shouldn’t be your main driver. Generally it is sensible to exit of your option to accommodate somebody who does nice work and could be troublesome to switch, even if you wouldn’t do it in any other case. You simply must be ready to be clear about these causes if different workers ask, and to face by these causes (and also you additionally must be certain it’s really performance-based and role-based, and that you just don’t develop patterns the place, curiously, everybody who will get particular perks are the identical race/intercourse/and many others.).