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Managing Holiday Vacations

12/14/2016

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5 Tips to Avoid Vacation Scheduling Conflicts

With the holidays around the corner, it's inevitable that your employees will request time off before the new year, and, worse yet, these vacation requests may overlap. While it would be nice to be able to accommodate everyone, you also have to keep your business up and running and take care of clients. Here are five easy tips for managing holiday vacation requests in ways that make both your customers and employees happy.

  1. Communicate Your Vacation Policy: Make sure all your employees are aware of which days, if any, are company holidays and which days you plan to close early — these might coincide with potential vacation plans. If the week between Christmas and New Year’s Day is slow, consider shutting down completely, but, if you’re busy meeting deadlines and taking care of clients, extending work hours might be the way to go. The key is to ensure that all employees are informed as to when you’ll be open and closed. 
  2. Vacation Request Deadline: By scheduling a vacation request deadline for holidays between Thanksgiving and New Year’s, you can avoid employees asking for time off at the very last minute and getting frustrated if you don’t grant the request. Clearly communicate that any requests submitted after the deadline may not be approved. 
  3. Shared Calendar: By having a shared calendar, you are placing the responsibility of managing vacation times on the employee. By allowing all employees to see who is taking off when, they are better able to plan accordingly, all the while saving you some stress. Be sure to limit how many employees can request off per date, as you still need a productive office environment.
  4. Create a Fair Schedule: You may also consider coming up with a workable schedule that shares the holiday work hours as much as possible. Some businesses use tactics like seniority, a lottery drawing, or productivity and sales goals to determine who gets to request their holiday vacation first.
  5. Post the Schedule As Early As Possible: As soon as you have a completed holiday schedule, put it out for everyone to see, and confirm with all your employees which days they will be off. The earlier you release your holiday schedule, the earlier employees can plan time off. 

With these holiday vacation tips in mind, you’ll plan far enough ahead to properly manage the vacation requests and set your business up for success.