Tuesday January 23rd 2018
At the start of the year, many managers and business owners are attempting to sort through time off requests and fairly allot vacation days to their teams. It’s impossible to allow every member of your team to take time off simultaneously, so the process of managing vacation and holiday time can be crippling to your business if not handled properly. However, rejected PTO requests can also impact the culture you’ve created within the company if your employees aren’t satisfied by the process.
If you dread this season every year because of the complications of organizing vacation times, perhaps this should be the year that you make some changes to simplify the process. We’ve got some tips to set you up for success while eliminating the stress that accompanies the rush of vacation requests.
If you manage a small team or are running a new business, it’s possible that you haven’t developed a company policy on vacation time just yet. But as your business grows, it will become increasingly more important to have solid policy established to share during the onboarding process. Don’t wait until vacation requests become a problem. Establish your policy now, so that the team you’re currently managing can get on board, and so that future hires will have an understanding of your procedure on day one. If you manage a larger business that already has a policy in place, but you still experience the stress of dealing with vacation requests, it’s probably time to update that policy.
Things you should consider when developing your company policy on vacation time and holidays include:
Whatever policies you choose to implement for your team, make sure that each is clearly communicated to all of your employees, both in written form and verbally. Review the information in advance of your busy seasons to ensure that all employees are aware of their options and restrictions for vacation time.
While it’s important to follow your company’s policy consistently to ensure that your employees feel they are treated fairly, and no one is given preferential treatment, it’s also important to allow room for some flexibility as you manage time off requests. You will encounter special circumstances, and the way you handle those circumstances will have a big impact on the company culture. While you can’t honor every request, simply for the fact that your business can’t function without structure and clear policies, you can create flexibility within your company policy by anticipating the unexpected.
Whether it’s by reaching a compromise to allow some employees to work remotely while they are out of the office, or by simply creating a rotating schedule that guarantees employees will equally share the workload around busy times, creating openings for compromise and flexibility will help your team feel that their time is valued.
Most importantly, when managing vacation requests, keep the lines of communication open. Communicate the policies and guidelines well in advance of the request deadlines so that your employees have time to make plans. By creating, communicating and enforcing a consistent policy, you’ll eliminate a lot of the stress that comes with time off requests, allowing you to focus on more important matters and keep the company moving forward.
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