How to manage summer vacations at your small business : GKM Inc – Blog

How to manage summer vacations at your small business

Posted by:   |  Aug 22, 2018  | Post comments

Summer vacations are most anticipated, except, perhaps, by business owners and managers. Not only can it be a headache to juggle schedules and re-assign tasks while employees are away; it can also impact the business and customer service to have key employees gone. Here are a few things to consider when creating and implementing a vacation policy so that it works for your business.

It is vital to create and maintain a visual schedule of who is taking time off and when. This might be created with a simple wall board or online. A larger firm could leave the schedule supervision to department or division heads, each of whom would track their workers.
Spreading vacation time over the rest of the year might not be practical, especially if many of the employees have school-age children and desire family vacations during summer break.
If several people are scheduled for vacations during, say, the third week of July, the manager might push forward some projects or delay them until the workplace is at full strength. One may also exercise caution on approving additional vacation requests for weeks when multiple employees are already planning time off.
Chances are that the company’s customers, suppliers, and other supporting businesses will also have employees who would not be available. Maintaining strong relationships with such business associates can help in checking their vacation schedules and who to contact if there is an unexpected snag.
If there are deadlines, the employees can be requested to finish all projects before they leave. For ongoing efforts, have the teams write up a summary of work-to-date with helpful materials attached. Contact numbers and email addresses of vacationing employees may be collected as to where they can be reached, in case a need for contact should arise.
Make sure employees place vacation responses on their work phones and email, with dates of departures and returns. In addition, arrange for some employees to cover for those on vacation, if necessary. Work sharing among multiple co-workers might be a better solution. Summer interns may be able to fill in too.
It may seem counterintuitive to adopt a plan that actually encourages employees to use the time off that is available to them, but the research clearly shows that when employees take vacations, stay home when they are sick, and achieve a healthy work-life balance, it is not only good for morale, but good for productivity as well. Be committed to finding a vacation policy that honors both the employees and the business, which will ultimately benefit the bottom line of the business.