It is official, the holidays are upon us. As they quickly approach, it’s important that we are prepared. While many people are gathering their favorite recipes and organizing gift lists, medical offices are preparing for holiday hour changes. For medical practices, it is essential that our staff is happy, but also that our patients remain a top priority. Here are a few tips for avoiding the many frustrations that can happen with holiday closures.
Have a policy in place for holiday closures.
It is important that this policy is put into place early in the year (start preparing now for next year!) so there is no confusion when holidays arrive. Make sure your specific office observes holidays based on patient and staff needs. The policy created should include a list of all mandatory holidays as well as information about days that will not be observed. This policy should be shared with the team as they are hired and when updates are made. Plan ahead and note what will happen when any mandatory holiday falls on non-work days ie. will the office be closed the business day before, the following day, or both?
Be clear about holiday pay.
Nothing causes more frustration and hurt feelings than confusion regarding money. Include with your holiday closure policy clear information about pay. Each classification of employee should be aware of the policy and how they will be compensated for these days.
Plan for additional time off for staff.
Staff may want to take additional time off around the holidays. And during this time of year, time is as precious as money. If policies and expectations aren’t clear, this can cause internal issues. Your policy should discuss how time off will be handled. These requests should fall under an approval process and it is important to discuss how many employees can take off at one time.
Communicate closures to patients.
Once your team is clear on the parameters and expectations of holiday closures, it’s important that your patients are well aware of your holiday hours. Start sending out communications to your patients about a month before. Ensure that these are included in any online calendars so appointments cannot be booked during those times. Update any social media accounts early and frequently. The earlier these communications are made, the easier it is to ensure your patients are happy.
The holidays are a fabulous time of year for you, your staff and your patients – don’t let poor communication take away from this wonderful season. Be prepared, clear, and communicative, and leave the stress for cooking turkey – not holiday working hours.Posted by