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How to Handle Holiday Vacation Requests

It’s that time of year again – time when people everywhere start thinking about taking time off and spending it with family and friends. Your employees are no exception. So how do you handle these inevitable requests that all tend to come in at the same time while also focusing on keeping your operation up and running? Here are some helpful tips to keep your ship afloat while also providing your valuable employees with the much-needed time off that they deserve.

Establish a Clear Policy – Before you can really manage your staff’s time off you first have to have a clear and specific vacation policy in place. This will spell out exactly how much time off each employee gets and the steps required in order to be granted time off. Make sure that each member of your team understands the policy and that any changes or updates are communicated to everyone. This will make it easier to keep everyone on the same page. 

Set a Deadline – Last minute requests can easily cause chaos and interrupt important business functions, so be sure to let your employees know when they have to submit their time off requests by. This will help you to plan staffing and divvy up the workload accordingly so that everything continues to run smoothly and the staff that’s still working doesn’t get overwhelmed. 

Encourage Teamwork – Remind your team that they are the ones that are directly impacted by the time off each of them takes and encourage them to work together to coordinate their vacation schedules. This will foster a sense of teamwork and staff empowerment and will also make your job easier, since most requests for time off will already have been worked out in terms of coverage by other employees. It’s a win-win.

Develop a Fair System – Whether it’s a lottery system, performance driven or based on seniority, come up with a system that keeps time off requests distributed fairly, and be sure to document and communicate it well. When everyone is aware of the policy there are no surprises and you’ll be better prepared to manage your staffing schedule.

Post Your Holiday Schedule ASAP – As soon as you have granted some time off for the upcoming holiday season, post the schedule for others to see. This will help people to quickly identify available dates and encourage them to request time off in a timelier manner. Last minute requests can be frustrating for you, and denial of these requests can be equally as frustrating for your employees. The sooner you communicate what’s going on, the better for everyone.

Managing your staff’s time off during the holidays can be challenging, but with these tips, you will ensure that the process runs smoothly and your business still functions in the most efficient way possible.

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posted by Rebecca Daneault @ 8:09 AM