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I'm not familiar with the construction industry, but regardless, that sounds like a problem when staff does not return after holiday. Was there an identified risk of workers not returning to work? That is where the mitigation plan would have been hashed out. Whether pulling workers from other projects, hiring new, or ....
Has this company previously had workers fail to return after long holiday? Does this sort of thing occur frequently in the construction industry?
Well you have to look at the Effects and have a mitigation plan and also perform Root Cause Analysis for the situation
From the perspective of the project manager, a risk management plan should be implemented at the outset of every project, which outlines potential risks and actions taken to mitigate them. It sounds like this would have helped to a certain extent.
On the other hand, if the majority of your workers aren't coming in to work when they are supposed to, then I'd say you have a much bigger personnel issue at play.
Perhaps it's a case of low job satisfaction, or just a culture of poor work ethic that has been allowed to perpetuate within the organization.
Regardless, this is an issue that should be discussed with senior management, with action taken to prevent it from recurring. It is in the company's best interests to do so.
It takes much longer to build a good reputation that it does to earn a poor one.
When you are planning the project, you should identify holidays. One of the questions you should ask the team is when they have plans to be out on holiday, vacation, or any other planned events that will prevent them from working. This needs to be factored in the schedule.
In some countries, it might not be easy to control this issue in an effective way due to unique culture with family and/ or unavailability of public transportation etc.
I dealt with this issue as below:
1. Prepare the list of workers who can voluntarily stay at work during holidays,
2. Give extra days to the workers who need due to personal issues but extra days will not be paid if the law is allowed.
3. If the budget allows, arrange some round trip transportations between the project and two or three major cities from which majority of workers are originated.
4. Before they leave the project, at least one hour training course should be taken. Training course might include the introduction of project status, urgent issues to be handled after holidays, emphasis on on-time resuming the project with individual responsibilities, some disciplinary measures to those who, without proper permissions or procedures, do not attend the work place on time after holidays etc. Project manager with assistance of members from labor union might be best speaker to address these issues.
5. During holidays, contact the workers.
6. One of the most important things is that they should be motivated to come back and resume the work on time.
Sungjoon hits a real point, where does the project take place influence how the project goes.
This is a 'Lessons Learn' item for the next project.
As Mudassar said Root Cause Analysis is a good idea. Why most of the workers did not return on time? Cultural, logistics, weather (flooding, earthquake, hurricane), "get back" at management, violence, etc.
Then, as Julian wrote a risk management plan is needed.
Though we include holidays in exception list in the plan when there are long weekends or festival holidays people don’t come back to work after the holiday , they take leaves saying not well or not able to come back…etc which affects the work , in larger teams this case will be large
If we don’t have backup experts to cover the gap thing will get screwed up , in such cases will ask employee to stretch and cover up the delay that’s the only option.
I like the above suggestions regarding lessons learned and resource calendars. Keeping the organization appropriately staffed is generally not a project manager's duty, though. Personnel managers have the authority to ensure that enough people are on hand to conduct business. This sounds like an important conversation you need to have with management.
Also, make sure you're not assuming 100% availability in your project plan. People don't work 8 hours a day. If you're lucky, they'll work 6 hours in an 8 hour day. The rest is needed for all the typical waste found in organizations. Your team won't all report to work every day, they have holidays, doctor appointments, family emergencies... and apparently they have hangovers after long holidays. There are different rules of thumb, but I wouldn't assume more than 80% availability.
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