Are You Ready for the Summer Holidays?
The weather’s getting warmer, schoolchildren are getting excited, and you’ve probably found yourself longing to lie on a beach somewhere. All this can only mean one thing; the summer holidays are nearly upon us. For managers this can be stressful, as the hike in the number of staff on leave could mean that you go 6 weeks without having a full team, raising the risk of vital tasks falling through the cracks. Little wonder that many managers and business owners end the summer needing a long holiday themselves.
So how can you take the stress out of the summer holidays? Here are our top tips:
Get ahead of the game
People don’t just take more holiday in the summer because of the nice weather, the surge is also caused by school holidays. This means that the rush to take time off work is predictable: school term dates vary area-by-area but are usually published on the local education authority’s website. This means that you can plan ahead, knowing when there will be high demand for annual leave.
Consider prioritising parents in school hols
Parents face two challenges that mean they may need to take time off work during the school holidays. First they are not allowed to take their kids out of school for a holiday in term-time, and second that, especially for younger children, they will need to arrange childcare. By contrast, childless employees can take a holiday at any time of year. Many organisations acknowledge this and have a policy of prioritising requests from parents for leave during school holidays. Doing this is a way of showing your staff that you are responsive to their needs.
Identify critical roles and cross train
In every workplace there are some tasks that can wait a week or two while the person responsible for them takes a holiday, and others which must be done every day. Make sure that you know which these critical tasks are, and plan ahead to make sure that they will always be covered. Identify the people you will use to cover absences and make sure they are trained for the task in advance.
It’s a good idea to have at least three people trained for critical tasks, so that you can handle a holiday and an illness at the same time. Some companies encourage all of their staff to cross-train for as many roles as possible, so that cover can always be found. Using LeaveWizard’s online holiday management system lets you quickly and simply assign a worker to cover any holiday period.
Be aware of your minimum staffing levels
You already know that there is a minimum number of staff below which your business simply can’t function. This means that you will sometimes need to refuse holiday requests. Through its intuitive online dashboard LeaveWizard helps you to track and manage staff holidays, as making sure that you can stay on top of staffing levels.
Make sure your team knows the rules
With a high number of leave requests for the summer holidays, your life is much simpler if employees know the rules, meaning that you have to refuse fewer requests. If Alice and Bob are the only two people who can complete a crucial task, they need to know that they cannot take holiday at the same time. The LeaveWizard app lets team members check their allowances and apply for leave from anywhere, while the flexible configuration settings mean you can be confident that the rules are followed.
We’ve already mentioned a couple of the ways that our online holiday management tool can take the stress out of the summer holidays. Why not take a tour and see how else it can help you? Once you’ve prepared your leave management for the summer holidays, there’s only one more thing you need to do: go on your own holiday and relax, confident that your business is working well.