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Effectively Managing Summer Vacations



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With school finally out and summer officially starting, businesses are finding more and more employees wanting to take a few days off. Whether it’s to spend time with the kids, take a trip to the beach, or for a nice stay-cation, your business’s productivity should not suffer just because your employees are all vying for the same days off.

Best Practices for Managing Vacation Requests

  • Black Out Dates: For businesses that expect a spike in business during certain times of the year, it may be appropriate to prohibit vacations during that specific time in order to meet business demands. Employees would much rather know ahead of time when they can or cannot take vacation days, rather than being denied. Be sure to communicate this policy as soon as it is set.
  • Forced Use: During the slower months of the year, when business demands are low, you might want to consider requiring employees to  utilize part of the vacation time. This way your business can still function appropriately, but your employees can utilize their much needed vacation, after all, they are working hard, and have earned these days off.
  • Incentives for Use: If you prefer to motivate rather than prohibit your employees, consider encouraging employees to take vacation during slower months. For example, an employee could take four days of vacation and get one free day off during the pre-determined slower periods of business.
  • Seniority: A few businesses allow employees with more seniority precedence over when the take their vacations.
  • First come, First Served: With this method, vacations are approved strictly as to when the request is made.
  • Shared Online Calendar: This method places more responsibility on the employee on managing their own vacation times. As the employer, be sure to set a limit on how many people can request off for any particular date. This allows all employees to see who is taking off, and are able to plan their vacations accordingly, without adding any undue stress on a supervisor.

While these are all effective methods on managing vacation times throughout the year, the best way to manage employee vacations is by simply making sure everyone is on the same page. Vacation policies should be carefully documented (how many days off an employee can take, when/if vacation time expires, what sort of notice must be given, etc.), where they are easy to reference should an issue arise, and a senior management member should clearly communicate all policies and the reasoning behind the policies.

Sources: Check Writers Payroll