05 Jul 2016

Six Ways to Manage Employee Holidays

To quote the Starks “Winter is Coming” but when I say winter, I really mean the holiday season. I mean the ever-dreaded Summer Holidays and coordinating staff during this time of year can be an absolute nightmare. Messing up your employee holiday schedules can leave you under-staffed and short at the end of the month when it comes to your bottomline. How do you make sure that this doesn’t happen to you?

Make sure you have rules set up when it comes to take holidays. The quickest way to have anything descend into absolute chaos is not having rules when it comes to employee vacation. If you don’t set up any boundaries, then it’s impossible to devise a plan. Make sure your employees have limits as to how long their vacation can be, when it can happen, and what kind of communication you need from them while they are gone.

Communication is king. Expanding on our last point, it’s important that your employees know how much they need to be in contact with you. Do you only need them in case of an emergency? Do you need them to be present for a morning call on work days? Do they need to be on a client call on Thursday in the afternoon? Make sure they know so that you aren’t left high and dry. If need be, let them know that they don’t need to be in contact with anyone on vacation and make a plan to handle their business while they are away.

Plan in advance. There are companies out there that require employees to plan their vacation out in advance, sometimes up to a year. This kind of kills the spontaneity of vacation, but it also means that an unexpected derailment to your productivity is not going to happen. While a year in advance may be too much, maybe a month or so is adequate time for your employees to let you know what’s going on.

Make sure everyone isn’t on vacation at once. Nothing drains productivity like a mass exodus. There is no sense in trying to do the work of a full team when there are only a couple on staff. Make sure that you have protocols in place to make sure that all of your staff can’t take their vacation at once and instead have to stagger their time off.

Think about hiring part-timers. Having a team of part-timers to cover the absences is never bad a thing. Having someone to continue sourcing or setting up interviews so that your recruiters aren’t completely behind the 8-ball when they get back is probably something that they would thank you for. Consider maybe hiring someone part-time over the summer, or perhaps on a contractual basis when business picks up and your employees start to jet off.

Learn to say no. Consider setting up a blackout date during high-stress times of the year. If you know that business always picks up around June or July, tell them that vacation has to wait until August so that you can make sure to keep your business running. Remember, you don’t always have to be the nice guy and that at the end of the day you have a business to run.

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