5 Tips to manage teams and work during Diwali

The season of lamps and lights, online sales and gift distributions is here. It is that time again when many employees either want to go home to be with their families or simply take time off to partake in the Diwali festivities.  
If we were to ask what is the biggest challenge you, as a business owner or a manager leading a team face during this time, then handling multiple leave requests during festive season could be high on your list.
Handled incorrectly it can result in disgruntled team members or worse, affect the business in an otherwise busy time of the year. So what is it that you can do to ensure a smooth Diwali and happy employees? Here are a few tips:
1. Create a leave schedule
Everyone wants to take time off during festivals but granting leaves to the whole team at the same time is not possible. One way to manage this is to create a leave-tracker for your team and ask them to populate it at least a month in advance. That way all members can see who is taking time off when and decide among themselves who can stagger their holidays.
2. First come, first serve
Though it may sound brutal but those who have applied for personal leave well in advance should be given preference. This way your team will get into the discipline of planning their leave requests rather than apply at the last minute. Additionally, you could consider granting leaves on a rotation so that everyone gets to take leave in the festive season. This will also help prevent favoritism.

3. Reward the ‘beaver’
You could consider rewarding employees who end up spending time in office or working weekends during festivals to manage work. They could be given extra time off later in the year or during the lean season. This kind of motivation may go a long way in boosting employee morale and you could end up with more volunteers for the peak season next time around. Another way to motivate employees during Diwali is to organize office lunches and creating a cheery atmosphere at work so that people feel part of festivities even when working.
4. Hire part-timers
A strategy that could be employed to manage work during the holiday season is to have a pool of part-time workers or remote workers who can be given projects during this period. If your work picks up pace during holidays or you anticipate more leaves during a certain time in the year, tap into this pool to ensure work goes on. There are some talented and experienced people out there who prefer to work part-time or on flexible employment terms and you could reach out to them. 
5. Have flexible work policies
In certain cities Diwali is also the time when businesses and people go around distributing gifts. This often results in long traffic jams or overcrowded public transport. In such a scenario, people who have to travel long distances for work usually end up exhausted and are able to accomplish little. Having work policies such as work from home or flexible timings, which allows people to take care of work and home, increase productivity. They also result in a happier and more satisfied workforce.
Businesses don't have to see red during the festival or holiday season. With a little bit of planning, you can ensure work goes on while keeping your teams happy. So this Diwali, let peace and prosperity become your bywords. 
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