During the holiday season, business may be slower than normal, but it’s important that your department has the support needed when customers call. While some businesses are able to justify closing for the holidays, this may not be an option for you.
When your employees begin to submit time-off requests around the holidays, you may feel like a circus clown, juggling schedules. However, there is a simple plan to put in motion that will make this time of year go much more smoothly for you and your business.
Prepare Ahead of Time
One of the best ways to handle time-off requests during the holidays is to tackle this mountain far in advance. Glassdoor’s article references planning 3 to 6 months in advance. While this is doable, I believe you should also speak with your team a month before the holidays, addressing the situation in a group setting.
Most of the time, just explaining that you need your team’s help with sustaining business operations over the holidays will encourage everyone to work as a team when scheduling time-off. For example, I once had a manager who sat down, having a conversation with our team in a similar way and it made a huge difference. We understood the importance and we all worked together to ensure that our time-off did not overlap.
Once you open this up to the entire team for discussion, you will quickly discover that the majority of your team will be understanding and willing to work with you when it comes to scheduling time-off requests.
While it can become hectic scheduling employee time-off around the holidays, it is important that you stay flexible in order to ensure high team morale. As Glassdoor mentions, consider scheduling some employees to work half days or even work from home.
In the past, I had an employee who lived quite some distance from the office. Rather than having her drive in for 4 hours of work, I understood that it would be more productive and beneficial for her to work from home during those 4 hours.
The ability to remain flexible during the holidays is something that your team will greatly appreciate and remember for some time to come.
As always, be sure to show your team that you appreciate their hard work and cooperation. If you are able to, show your employees your appreciation by letting them leave a little early to be with their families, bringing them coffee or holiday snacks, or simply giving them handwritten notes of appreciation. Simple gestures always go a long way.
How do you prepare for holiday time-off requests? Please share your suggestions in the comments below.