Staff Scheduling and Summer Vacations: 7 Rules of Thumb

Categories: Advice for HR Professionals, Other
Vacations are a necessity for every employee. The article discusses how to manage time-offs through an established process and proper scheduling.

Employees look forward to vacations, with summer being the favorite time to take some time off and bask under the sun. With restrictions slowly easing up in a few areas, it provides employees who have not taken a proper vacation since the pandemic the opportunity to plan for and enjoy one. 

If you are managing a team, it won’t be a surprise if your employees request some time off at this time. As a manager, you should be able to manage these requests in a thorough, organized manner through proper staff scheduling and shift management. 

However, where do you begin? What do you do if you need to handle so many requests at once? Read this article to find out.

Preparing for Vacation Requests

There is nothing wrong with employees filing for vacation leaves. It is their right to do so as one of the primary benefits companies provide.

However, one of the fears that a manager may have is several employees filing for vacation leaves on the same dates, which will result in understaffing. It can pose issues to the operations or business projects and slow down progress for a couple of weeks. 

The main solution here is consistency. Through proper scheduling, management, and policies, you can allow your employees to enjoy their vacation without compromising the company’s work and productivity.

The following section discusses more specific steps for better management and when you can apply them.

1. Start with a solid time-off policy

Work-life balance is an integral part of an employee’s life. Too much work can easily burn them out, resulting in inefficiencies and a high turnover rate. Establishing a solid time-off policy provides employees with enough time to take vacation leaves throughout the year and a simple request process. 

You should put out a clear policy for asking time-offs. How early should the employee file the vacation leave with HR? How many days of time-off are the employees entitled to? What happens when multiple employees file on the same dates? The policy should answer all of these. 

2. Analyze your needs and distribute resources adequately

Different businesses have different peak seasons. Some may peak during Christmas, while others during summer. If you are expecting a busy season ahead, it’s best to analyze your needs and allocate resources.

Some employees may file for leaves during your peak season, so it’s something to consider. You can adjust goals and projects to meet your targets as scheduled. You can also ask your employees to file their leaves around these crucial dates to keep operations at full capacity during peak times of the year.

3. Keep an eye on labor law compliance

Some countries and states have laws regarding employees receiving enough time off during their shifts. An example here is people who work in hospitals. Healthcare professionals can have an intense workload that includes performing tests, diagnoses, and other medical treatments. 

Some areas require workers like nurses to have sufficient time off to provide them with as much work-life balance as possible. It’s best that you research the laws in your place to keep your business compliant and treat your workers well.

4. Set a deadline for submitting leave requests

In relation to time-off policies, having a deadline for submitting leave requests is an excellent way to organize the company’s and employees’ schedules. Setting a deadline ensures that you have enough time to plan your workforce’s needs during their vacations.

Without a deadline, employees may barrage you with several leave requests simultaneously and not give you enough time to plan for endorsement or your team’s workload. This not only causes understaffing, but also for employee grievances to pop up, especially among those whose leave requests were rejected.

Setting deadlines also allows you to create an organized timeline of who will be taking leaves and how long, helping you adjust projects and tasks that the employees are working on. This step prevents you from compromising the company’s progress.

5. Ensure fairness in processing requests

Fairness in any workplace is vital to keep employee morale up. When a manager plays favorites by approving the requests of one employee while others get rejected, they may feel frustrated, reducing the morale of the whole team. 

The solution is to establish a basis for leave requests. It creates a fair playing field where nobody gets any special treatment. Processing requests on a first-come-first-served basis is the ideal way to do this.

6. Prepare contingencies for AWOLs

Absent without leaves (AWOLs) can happen. Whatever reason your employee has behind them, it’s best to practice open communication so you can help them and the business adapt to sudden absences, leading to better preparation. 

Being ready involves contingency plans where an employer can take off from where the absent employee stopped. This requires having someone reliable who can adapt to the unattended tasks if the situation calls for it.

7. Consider bringing in outsourced help

Having an outsourced team can be beneficial for several businesses. It provides more support for projects that require more staffing. If your employees are filing leaves, an outsourced team can also pick up the slack for the time being.

A Balanced and Fair Game of Leaves

Like any other aspect of a business, preparation is paramount for scheduling and approving leaves. If you have an organized process that promotes a level and fair playing field, it will benefit your employees and the company. 

As long as both sides are in agreement and there are no acts of favoritism, issues will be at most minimal, and the company will be prepared when employees take their much-needed leaves.

If you need to augment your staff with outsourced workers, Manila Recruitment provides various services to aid you in the process. Manila Recruitment is the premier recruitment agency in the Philippines dedicated to providing organizations with the best, most qualified candidates. Visit the website to learn more and get in touch with us!