Don’t let staff holiday requests cause business chaos
8th July 2016
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Despite the typically British weather, it is actually summer and the annual battle over key holiday dates is likely to be already underway in your business. For many, the school holidays are the only time where the whole family can get away and spend some quality time together so August is a key month for holiday requests. But as a small business it’s important you maintain sufficient cover across all departments to manage the workflow and be able to support temporary staff brought in to cover absences. But as a small business owner how do you manage that?

Make it clear

Without a clear process for requesting and approving holidays you could be facing a range of issues from ‘lost’ requests, double booking, and more. Studies have found that one of the major causes of workplace conflict is related to holidays. You may use a wall planner or spreadsheet to plot and track holidays but these can be fiddly to alter when plans change – but are also (perhaps) open to sabotage by staff keen to get their own dates approved or extended. Taking your holiday booking process online can help alleviate the issues, enabling requests to be sent, approved or denied and recorded electronically. And if staff are able to see when there’s availability it should make it easier for everyone. The HRDept Toolkit includes a digital tool to allow you to organise and track staff holidays through an online portal which will also highlight if staff are building leave to take at the end of the year which could cause business chaos in December/January.

Be creative

Your business may also experience peaks and troughs, which mean it’s important to have sufficient cover to manage a high workload at certain points in the year. It may be worth considering ways to incentivise your staff to take annual leave at times when it particularly suits the business. For example, one US-based ski and snowboard manufacturer suffered from high staff absence during the summer months when the business was at its busiest. Staff were offered double their holiday entitlement if they took their vacation outside of the key summer period to ensure high staff levels when it was most needed. While this approach may not work for your business, we would be very happy to discuss a range of ideas which might work for you.

If you’d like to see a demo of the HR Dept Toolkit or discuss how you can manage workplace absences better, contact Karen Sanders and the team at The HR Dept for further advice and support by calling 0845 863 0650.

About the Author

Tracey S

Member since: 27th June 2014

I have over 20 year’s marketing experience working for companies including Hewlett Packard, Royal Mail, Hitachi and AQA. I live in Fleet and am the owner of thebestof Fleet helping small and medium companies...

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