5 Easy Ways to Manage Employee Vacations This Summer

May 10, 2019

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Posted by: Nicola Malcolm

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With the days getting longer and the temperatures getting warmer, employees are beginning to plan their upcoming summer holidays. As a manager, you want your staff to enjoy their scheduled vacations while you ensure projects are completed on time.

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Balancing time-off requests doesn’t have to be difficult. Here are five easy ways to manage employee summer vacation schedules.

1. Hire Temporary Workers

You can reduce the stress of upcoming vacations when you hire temporary workers. Temporary workers have the skills to fill roles as needed, whether it’s for a colleague’s month-long vacation or a specific summer project. With temporary workers, you’ll be able to ensure that you continue to meet deadlines.

There are many great reasons to hire temporary workers this summer. A staffing agency can help you find the right workers to cover vacations.

2. Stagger Employee Time Off

Staggering time-off requests helps ensure you’re not short-staffed during the summer months. You can implement a timeframe for when requests may be submitted and whether an overlap is allowed between colleagues in the same departments. It can be helpful to explain why staggered time off is important. Employees who know the reason behind this decision are more likely to understand why the rule exists.

If there are times of the year where it’s absolutely crucial to have all hands on deck, instituting a vacation blackout policy may also be necessary. However, whether it’s done company wide or at the department level, be sure to use blackout periods sparingly since they can influence morale.

3. Introduce Holiday Hours

It can be difficult to keep employees engaged during the summer months when the warm weather makes them want to be outside. If you can, consider offering a flexible summer schedule. Allow your employees to soak up the summer sun with summer Fridays or shorter days.

This type of scheduling flexibility builds goodwill and can help reduce time-off requests.  

4. Hire Summer Interns

Interns are considered temporary employees. However, they enter the role with little experience and are just beginning to build their career paths.

If your company doesn’t currently offer a summer program, it might be time to introduce one. Hiring interns is a relatively inexpensive option, and it provides the benefit of additional labour throughout prime vacation summer months.

5. Reinforce Vacation Policies

Vacation policies create structure for scheduling time off and provide guidance for tracking how many people will be out of the office at a given time.

While your vacation policy is likely regularly mentioned in the employee onboarding process, it can quickly be forgotten by the summer. Discussing the policy at the beginning of the summer can help give your employees a refresher on when they can take time off and when requests may or may not be granted.

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Nicola Malcolm

Nicola Malcolm

Nicola has over 20 years of staffing industry experience with global, international, and Canadian firms. She has a broad knowledge base from having worked at a temporary recruitment desk, as an on-site manager in a global warehouse and manufacturing company, and in marketing, IT and operations. In addition, Nicola managed a portfolio of MSP/VMS accounts for a global MSP, and currently manages the staffing supply of 10+ Canadian MSP/VMS programs. In her spare time, Nicola uses her recruiting background to help her family, friends, and personal network find meaningful work opportunities. She also enjoys applying her operational skills to plan family trips abroad as often as possible.

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