Effectively Managing Staff Vacations

As summer weather warms up and children enjoy a break from school, you’re
probably expecting many in your department to take vacation time. In a survey
developed by Accountemps, 36% of senior executives polled said August was the
best month for employees to take time off, while 21% said July. Yes, it’s
traditional, but don’t forget: While breaks can offer a fantastic source of
rejuvenation for your employees, they can also cause a bit of stress for those
left back in the office. Here are some tips to help make vacation season
relaxing for all involved:

  • Plan ahead. Let employees know that you’d like as much
    notice as possible for their vacation requests. After all, not everyone can take
    a break at once. Clearly communicate your department’s policy so that your staff
    understands the procedure when multiple workers would like the same days off.
    For instance, is your policy based on seniority or is it first-come
    first-served? Be sure to consider how vacation time was awarded in prior years,
    so that no one is left feeling unfairly treated.
  • Create a back-up plan. To make sure things run smoothly,
    have employees who are taking time off designate a point person who will answer
    questions, make decisions on time-sensitive matters and carry out any necessary
    action items while they are away. This will allow the absent staffers to truly
    rest, rather than spend their break consulting with coworkers via laptops and
    cell phones.
  • Enlist temporary help. Even with proper planning for
    vacation season, there will be times when several people will be out during the
    same time, which can leave the rest of your staff feeling frazzled. To prevent
    this, you may want to consider bringing in project credit professionals to help
    fill in the gaps. Interim employees can alleviate pressure placed on your
    non-vacationing employees.

Source: Robert Half Financing and Accounting and Accountemps

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