Preparing for an Influx of Summer Vacation Requests

May 16, 2018 | 1,084 views

Preparing for an Influx of Summer Vacation Requests

Preparing for an Influx of Summer Vacation Requests

As the weather heats up, more people are itching to get outside and take advantage of the warmer temperatures. This time of year, managers like you are faced with a difficult dilemma. While you want to honor as many vacation requests as you can and give your team some freedom, you still have a business to run. Rain or shine, here’s how to prepare for an influx of summer vacation requests.


Communicate Early and Often

The earlier you can set expectations for your summer vacation policy, the better. Communicate what you expect from your team in terms of taking time off. Some policies might include:


 – How long your employees can take time off (new parents not included);

 – How far in advance they must give notice for time off; and

 – Any flexibility you might be able to offer in terms of taking time off.


By communicating, you manage to tackle two common problems. First, you set the boundaries, which will prevent employees from resenting any policies you have in place down the road. Second, you encourage taking time off, so that employees won’t get frustrated and burnt out, leaving you short handed during the holiday season.


Plan Ahead

Part of the communication process includes planning ahead so that everyone gets time off and you’re never left in a lurch. Don’t wait until you start seeing requests pour in. Be proactive and inspire your team to take time off but also encourage your team to be cognizant of others during their vacation planning.


One way to do this is to set a deadline for requests. This way, you get people thinking about their vacation time and not waiting until the last minute to request days off.


Clarify Your Decision Making

It’s bound to happen. At some point, you will run into a week where you have multiple employees asking for the same week off. There are a few ways you can handle this. You might opt for a first-come-first-serve basis, offering time off to anyone who requests it first. Or, you might choose to base time off on seniority.


The key here is to clarify how you plan to make the decision. If you don’t, you might make some people feel like you’ve arbitrarily chosen one employee over the other. To combat this, clarify how you plan to make the decision ahead of time.


Give Employees More Freedom

This might seem counterintuitive, but by giving employees more freedom, you can actually save yourself some headaches and remain fully staffed.


By using a scheduling app, like ScheduleBase, you’re able to give more responsibility over to your team to work out their time off. When you place this kind of trust in their hands, your team feels better about the transaction all around. They’re able to fill in and request favors from their fellow team members when needed. This kind of teamwork tends to lead to higher morale and less of a burden on you, the manager.


Consider Making Time Off a Reward

In order to manage the number of people you have on your team, you might want to consider making time off a reward. Encourage people to fill in during the months when you know you won’t have as many hands on deck and then reward them for picking up the inevitable slack with more time off in the Fall.


How Will You Manage the Summer Season?

It’s a question facing many managers as we emerge from the cold dark winter season. By having a plan in place and communicating that plan, you can be sure to honor as many requests as possible while still staying fully staffed.



Author Profile Jon Forknell is the Vice President and General Manager of Atlas Business Solutions, Inc., a software marketing company specializing in employee scheduling software, including ScheduleBase employee scheduling software, and other business software solutions. In the past, Jon has been recognized by the U.S. Small Business Administration as a SBA Young Entrepreneur of the Year. Atlas Business Solutions was named as one of Software Magazine’s Top 500 Software Companies in 2004 through 2007 and again in 2010, 2013 and 2014.

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