How does your business keep up productive momentum when employees jet off for a week or two? Every summer, this is a question that businesses all over the country try to answer. It’s also a question that impacts businesses differently depending on staff size and organization.
Some businesses have enough folks on hand at any given time that the absence of a single person isn’t a big deal. But during the summer, the dynamic can change when more employees decide to take time off, especially one after another.
When employees take time off, things are more likely to slip through the cracks, and productivity can take a hit. However, having well-defined vacation policies in place can prevent issues from developing in the first place.
First, be clear about the time-off policy. If you have one department of six people, a reasonable expectation is that only two people from that department may be out at a time. The policy of “first come, first served,” is one of the best ways to approach this situation. It’s fair, and it encourages people to get time-off requests in early, leaving your team more time to plan for the absence.
Second, implement time-off request deadlines. When you know a lot of people are going to want to take a few weeks off during the summer, ask that they put in their requests as soon as possible. It allows everyone time to plan so any work is delegated accordingly. On top of that, remind your team to get the requests in before booking any travel arrangements. That way, no one has to play the bad guy when a time-off request gets denied and a hotel booking hangs in the balance.
Third, encourage taking vacation. Work-life balance is critical when you want a productive team. Sometimes you have to reiterate that vacations are important, as numerous studies have confirmed. Too often, employees don’t plan vacations because they don’t want to compromise their job in any way, or they feel guilty about leaving. But when people don’t take time off, that’s when productivity takes the biggest hit. The longer people work without taking time for themselves, the more likely they are to experience burnout.
Thanks for reading,
Randy Sklar, CEO
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