How to Manage Dance Studio Staff PTO During the Holiday Season

Winter holidays are full of excitement, happy reunions, and in many cases, PTO requests. 

Staff at your dance studio have an expectation that they’ll be able to take some PTO (paid time off) to spend with their family and friends. And as a studio owner, you have the expectation that performances, parades, parties and routine classes will be staffed during this same time. 

So how can you manage dance studio staff time off during the holiday season while keeping everyone happy? 

Here are some tips that can help schedulers and staff get through the holiday season happier and healthier than ever. 

Set Holiday PTO Policies at Your Dance Studio

When it comes to managing time off and employee expectations, the devil is in the details. Set clear and defined time off policies for your staff during the holiday season that spells out how requests during this time of the year may vary from regular paid time off or vacation. 

Is your studio closed during the holiday season, say around the same time school is out? Make sure your staff know that well in advance so they don’t save PTO hours unnecessarily throughout the year to cover time off during the holidays. 

How does your dance studio approve time off requests? If time off needs to be approved by a manager, director or the owner of your dance studio, state it clearly in the holiday PTO policies. 

Other things to consider including in the holiday PTO policies at your dance studio:

  • Criteria for being eligible for PTO benefits.
  • The number of consecutive PTO days a teacher or staff member can take during the holidays.
  • Are there limits to the number of staff that can be out of the studio on PTO at the same time? 
  • The timeframe in which staff need to submit holiday PTO requests. 

Utilize a calendar

In addition to using a calendar for staff schedules, having a vacation calendar at your dance studio throughout the year is a great way to visualize when each teacher and staff member expects to be out of the studio. 

Utilizing a calendar that shows when staff members are available and unavailable is beneficial in several ways.

  • It shows your scheduling manager gaps in coverage and allows them to easily assign substitutes for classes at the studio when needed. 
  • When staff have the ability to select their availability on the calendar, it puts the responsibility on them to communicate their availability to you. 
  • It helps your staff know when others will be out of the office so they don’t rely on them as a dependency for a project or task that may need to be completed during that time. 

Communicate with employees about upcoming PTO and time off requests 

How many times do you have to share important studio information with parents and students for it to sink in? A lot. 

The same thing applies with communicating about paid time off during the holidays with your dance studio staff. It’s impossible to over communicate. 

Sharing your studio’s PTO policies and asking for updated availability on your staff calendar will need to be done on multiple occasions. Why? Because everyone’s busy, plans change and sometimes people just forget to request time off. 

An important thing to remember when communicating with your staff is that holiday PTO doesn’t have to be set in stone. If you can be flexible without sacrificing your PTO policies, offer flexibility to your staff. This goes a long way in retaining teachers through the holiday season and from year to year. 

Offer incentives to cover holiday shifts 

Unfortunately, there will be times when your studio can’t close and someone has to work a holiday shift. During those times, make sure teachers and staff know they are appreciated by offering things like one-time bonuses, overtime pay, and catering lunch. 

Establish blackout dates 

Nutcracker, parades, holiday showcases, you name it – there are certain times when teachers and staff can’t plan to be away from the studio during the holiday season. After all, that’s showbiz, kid!

By establishing blackout dates, you are not allowing teachers and staff to take planned PTO at all. Since blackout dates can get a bad rap, it’s important to limit them to studio events during the holiday season rather than major holidays themselves. 

Keep the holidays magical and meet everyone’s expectations by following these five paid time off tips at your dance studio. 

Want to receive more studio insights all year long? Sign up for Jackrabbit’s monthly newsletter custom curated for dance studio owners, staff and parents. 

By |November 3rd, 2022|Uncategorized|0 Comments

About the Author:

With experience as a competitive swimmer and coach, Haley is passionate about helping Jackrabbit clients get the most out of their class management software. As part of the Marketing Team, she spends her time connecting with clients and showing future clients how Jackrabbit can change their business for the better. Outside of work hours you can find Haley out on the boat, on the search for the best brunch food, or cheering on the South Carolina Gamecocks.

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