How to survive managing your team’s vacations

Ash Baggott

It’s always daunting to think that your employees will soon be approaching you to inform you “I need some time off for a vacation”. The new year is fast-approaching and your team will be putting in their requests to take their well-deserved vacations for 2020. But how should you manage all of their requests? What do you do when half the team wants the same week off? Should you approve them all? … Let’s take away the stress and cover some top-tips about how you should manage your employee’s vacation demands.

Lay it all out there during the recruitment and onboarding process

As you probably know, the vacation topic can be slightly awkward, so be absolutely transparent from the outset of an employee’s lifecycle. Make absolutely sure that your new hires understand your company policy around requesting time off, start by addressing peak work periods where requests might be restricted. You’ll have to take into account your business needs to define when vacations are a big void i.e. if your work is seasonal. Also, you’ll need to consider your employees cultural and religious beliefs, if these peak periods are during religious / cultural holidays or commitments, make sure you’re open and honest about the potential conflict, and be prepared to make adjustments accordingly.

Submission deadlines

Don’t be too harsh with your submission deadlines, you don’t want your employees to feel mistreated or that the timeframes are unrealistic. However, whatever you decide, firmly maintain the timeframes to ensure you have enough time to plan ahead.  The last thing you want is for your team to be left scarce due to bad timeframe management.

Help delegate responsibilities

Breaking news, it’s going to happen. Employees will take time off during the year and it’s important that they do to re-energise and rest away from work. Using the policies that you have in place, you should know well in advance when their will be shortages in your team, make sure you’re there to help sort out who’s going to cover the workload in their absence. Make sure your employee leaves an effective and informative handover to their colleagues, and ensure the additional work is maintainable for the person(s) completing the work.

I have too many requests for the same week!

Rather than denying requests, try and involve your colleagues in this scenario, bring your team together and discuss possible compromises and solutions. There’s most likely a way – between you – to be able to accommodate all the requests, or it will help the team understand that there are many requests, and that it’s simply not possible to authorise every one of them – making the tough decision of who to grant authorisation too less problematic.

Remember, you can say no

Sometimes, there’s going to be times when you cannot accommodate someone’s holiday request – this will happen. When it does, clearly communicate why they cannot take the these dates off and help them find a better time to take their holiday. Try not to restrict employees too much from leaving on prime working days, but if it becomes a real problem, it’s up to you as the manager to make and communicate the decision.

Don’t forget to take time off for yourself too, even managers need to take a break.

Managers work best when they have the right tools and software to organise their teams effectively throughout the year. With Holded’s Team application, you can do just that, the human resource management tool is presented in a beautiful, user friendly package, enabling you to manage your team’s vacation at ease.

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