With summer temperatures rising, many employees and managers are thinking of warm summer days on the river, upcoming camping trips, and family barbecues. While it is healthy to take personal time and look forward to fun adventures, as employees and managers we have to make certain that work continues to progress and goals are being met. With vacations prevalent during the summer months, it is important to stay focused on business needs. When it comes to time away from work and vacation scheduling, there are few things to keep in mind to ensure that a vacation scheduling nightmare does not happen to you. Communicate expectations clearly and make certain that:
- Employees are aware of the current vacation policies and procedures. Some employers base these policies on seniority, on a first-come-first-serve basis, or schedule vacations based on peak work periods.
- Management is aware of these policies as well and understands when they have the authority to change any vacation scheduling and are familiar with the policies.
- Set a deadline for submitting vacation requests and communicate this clearly.
- Prepare for employee absences whether scheduled or unplanned.
Depending on Company policy, state regulations, and whether or not such schedules will disrupt the normal workflow, there are a number of alternatives available to ensure that there is a balance in morale and productivity. Two popular options for modified schedules are flex time and a compressed schedule. Flex time occurs when start or finish times are altered while maintaining the same number of regularly scheduled hours. For example, an employee many stay two hours late on Thursday to get off two hours early on Friday.
Additionally, keep the working schedule as consistent as possible. This means that your regular meetings and projects should stay on their regular schedule, even when factoring in vacation times. If one of your key employees is going to miss a meeting due to a vacation, make sure to have them put together a list of important points that need to be covered during the meeting.
Our customers and clients don’t care that it is sunny outside and are not going to give us a pass just because we want to get out there and enjoy the sunny days. Focus on staying on track with projects and tasks, make certain that your employees do the same, and follow the above tips and tricks for scheduling vacations to ensure a smooth summer season that balances productivity and employee morale.