As a business owner, you are often required to “roll with the punches” but that doesn’t mean you need to be knocked out by them. One of the problems that many businesses face during the summer months is employee vacation days. These can be a real nightmare, and can cripple your business if you haven’t planned ahead.
Of course, vacations may be taken at any time of the year, with Thanksgiving being the most common day to travel. Those people who are traveling typically have work off on that day anyway, and enjoy a long weekend. The summer months, however, tend to be when most people take their vacation days, with 45% of Americans taking a summer vacation.
If you find your business feeling the crunch of employee vacation scheduling during the summer, there are a few things you can do to help ease the burden. It is inevitable that conflicts will take place but by taking the following steps, you can ensure that your business is up and running smoothly during the summer months.
Have a Discussion
It is important to discuss the vacation policy of your company with employees. This is an important topic to include in your employee handbook and updated each year as things change. A refresher could be beneficial when the summer months are approaching. Be sure that vacation policies are clearly written down and highlight any times during the summer in which vacations may be restricted or perhaps prohibited.
Have a Deadline
When employees are submitting vacation requests, be sure that they are doing so in a timely manner. Have a deadline for when those requests must be in and make it part of your written company policy. Try to determine how employee absenteeism due to vacations is going to affect your productivity and adjust where possible. Planning ahead with vacation time can save you a lot of headaches and last minute requests from employees. Stick to your policy, that way each of your employees feels a sense of fairness.
Many employees would gladly rearrange their vacation schedule to avoid the peak vacation periods if you offer an incentive for doing so. That incentive may include a bonus, premium pay or perhaps another incentive, such as an additional personal day to use throughout the year.
Admittedly, employee schedule swapping can be a headache, but it may be to your benefit during the peak vacation periods. By allowing the employees who have similar job descriptions to swap vacation days among themselves, they may just work out much of the problem for you.
If an employee goes on vacation and a colleague is trying to cover their work, be sure that they have a written guideline of the work being done, contact details and responsibilities. It will make it easier for them to cover the work seamlessly.
Hiring temporary employees during the summer months can help ease the pain of employee vacation time. Over 40% of the US job market is now made up of contingent workers, with many of them being on call workers or hired out through a staffing agency. Temporary employees offer many benefits and can keep your business operating smoothly through the summer months.
There are options available when vacation time arrives. By preparing in advance and taking the necessary action, you can survive the summer months and even thrive during this time. Consider using an employment agency to find and hire the best employees for your open position and your company.