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 not too long ago requested to work part-time (two days off, three days on) in summers so she will be able to spend extra time with them.
She is an effective, long-standing worker. Nonetheless, this actually presents many challenges for our small firm — primarily, protection for her throughout a brief time frame and the way we are going to fill that function and/or cowl the job duties of any workers who’re overlaying for her. Her function is exclusive (and she or he has entry to all of our financials) so discovering temp assist throughout this time will likely be difficult and probably dangerous. That is going to be considerably tough 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 be just right for you and also you’re prepared to threat shedding her over it, you possibly can clarify to Leah that it’s not doable for her place. From there, it’s as much as her to resolve if she nonetheless desires the job, figuring out these are the constraints.
Nonetheless, earlier than you try this, ensure you’ve thought by way of the next questions:
• Are you prepared to lose Leah over this? There’ll all the time be instances when the reply to that’s sure, and that’s okay. Otherwise you may understand that whereas it could be inconvenient to accommodate her on this manner, it could be extra inconvenient to have to rent and practice somebody new. Or it may not! I can’t inform what the reply is, however ensure you’ve actually thought this by way of first, since that is what all of it comes right down to.
• How tough would Leah be to interchange? That shouldn’t govern the whole choice because you’ll lose each worker ultimately, whether or not it’s to a different job, retirement, alien abduction, or so on, and it is best to by no means really feel so hamstrung by the thought of getting to interchange somebody that you simply comply with 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 artistic methods to make it work? For instance, perhaps two days per week off each single week of summer season could be onerous to say sure to, however all of August is de facto gradual and Leah might take off an enormous quantity of it with out a lot impression. Or perhaps there’s a proficient 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 carried out good work, it is smart to see if there’s a method 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 until you’d be prepared to supply the identical factor to others who ask for it.” That’s price enthusiastic about too, however it shouldn’t be your major driver. Typically it is smart to exit of your method to accommodate somebody who does nice work and could be tough to interchange, even while you wouldn’t do it in any other case. You simply should be ready to be clear about these causes if different workers ask, and to face by these causes (and also you additionally should be certain it’s actually performance-based and role-based, and that you simply don’t develop patterns the place, curiously, everybody who will get particular perks are the identical race/intercourse/and so forth.).