It might seem like summer vacation just ended, but the holidays are fast approaching. Your employees will likely want to take time off in the next few months, and you should be doing your best to make sure you can allow them to spend time with their families.
Most offices are closed for business on Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s days. However, your employees might travel, requiring them to take more time off. You should be prepared to operate with a lean staff the week of Thanksgiving, as well as the last two weeks in December.
Communicate Travel Dates Early
The goal is to keep things operating smoothly while allowing as many employees to take vacation as possible. The key to doing this is being prepared. Ask your employees to submit their holiday vacation requests in October, so you have plenty of time to plan.
If you absolutely need coverage on certain days around the holidays, communicate this early in the year. Ask employees who are not planning on traveling to step in and cover for those who are.
If all of your qualified employees wish to take time off, create a fair system to select who has to stay. This can be an incentive, priority based on seniority, or a simple random selection. Whatever it is, make sure you decide early and communicate clearly so your employees can plan accordingly.
Prep for Coverage in November
If you have employees covering tasks they don’t typically perform, schedule training in early November. This way, they can practice their new jobs a few times while help is still available. Questions are bound to come up the first time an employee performs a task, and you want them to be confident in their abilities once they are on their own.
Whenever possible, encourage your employees to work ahead before they leave the office. This allows them to enjoy their time off without that stressful feeling of returning to a mile-long to-do list.
Keep Office Morale High
Being told you can’t take the day after Christmas off to be with your family stings. Make sure your employees understand how much you appreciate them coming in. Keep office morale high while everyone works hard to get ahead before they leave by promoting a positive attitude.
Even if you are out of the office during the holidays, handing out coffee cards with permission to take an extra-long break, or having breakfast delivered to those who are in makes them feel appreciated.
Regardless of your holiday office leave policy, we wish you the best as you prepare for the most wonderful time of the year.