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How to Not Become the Grinch Who Stole Christmas

September 24, 2014 by Practice Index in Staff

Santa hat on a beach

With summer holidays now over it’s likely that most of your staff are all on home turf again… or for now at least. But no sooner does one holiday season finish than a new one presents itself, along with a flurry of holiday request forms: next up is Christmas. It’s just over three months away now, and some of your employees will be saving up their holiday allowance especially for a good stretch of time off with the family.

Refusing people their paid leave because you haven’t planned ahead for their (inevitable) requests is bad management on your part and puts you in the unenviable position of having to decide who can and cannot have the leave they’ve asked for.  So don’t become the Grinch over poor planning, and follow our top tips to keeping on top of staff holiday requests.

Plan Ahead

Don’t wait for the requests to come flying in – bring the topic of holiday over Christmas up in the autumn and instigate the process. It’s going to happen either way, so you may as well start dealing with it now rather than in late October. This also helps manage disappointment at an earlier stage if certain requests can’t be entirely granted. Remember to earmark all religious events throughout the year that you anticipate staff members may want time off for. See if you can design a strategy for your reduced Christmas and New Year opening hours that enables you to operate a skeleton staff structure and give everyone some bonus time off without having to cash in all their holiday credits.

Sort the Paperwork

Make sure you have a clear process in place for holiday requests, and either a paper- or cloud-based process for filing them. State that requests must be filed within a generous time limit to allow you good time to facilitate applications as fully as you can. Using a cloud-based HR program for this will also allow you at-a-glance insights into who really has the holiday stored up and who might be accruing too much.

Welcome Negotiation

For holiday hot spots like Christmas and New Year, a bartering scheme often empowers employees and takes the headache-inducing rota job partly off your hands.  If this is something you’d be happy with, make it clear that when holiday leave wishes cannot be fulfilled that staff can see if they can swap shifts with others to cover themselves for the period of time they’d like off work.

Paid holidays and other days off are just some of the (fewer and fewer) perks you can legitimately offer your team in reward for their loyalty and hard work throughout the year, so get planning now! 

 

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