The recent spell of good weather has served as a timely reminder that this is the time of year when many people prepare for their summer holidays – sun, sea and surf. However the holiday season can prove a “big” headache for employers who often have to operate at reduced staffing levels.
Summer can be a problematic time as most, if not all employees (especially those with school children) wish to have time off during the summer months. Here are our top tips for employers to ease those Holiday Headaches.
- Communicate – Holiday is always an emotive subject, no matter what time of the year, effectively communicating to all employees your holiday policy, their entitlements and clarifying when holidays may, or may not be taken, will ensure a level playing field. Talk openly to employees about holiday plans, encourage those reluctant to take their leave to do so for their own welfare and motivation. It is not good for anyone to work for long periods without a holiday break.
- Plan for continuity – It is essential to ensure a continuity of service is provided to your customers, there is a fine balance between ensuring employees can take their annual leave with confidence, without detriment to either their colleagues or the day-to-day running of the business. It is proven good practice for businesses to ensure their day-to-day working methods are documented – these policies and procedures serve as a “Reference Guide” for important service provisions, detailing “when and how things are done” – especially useful if Agency Workers are brought in to provide holiday cover for a short time period.
- Try to avoid Holiday Blues – Any employer will need to consider how duties are covered during the holiday absence – is it viable for the role to be split between several people, resulting in a short term increase in workload? Or is it more cost effective to bring in an Agency Worker for a longer period of time, to cover a number of employees absences? It may sound obvious but one of the biggest causes of holiday blues is the backlog of work an employee comes back to. There is nothing worse for an individual to return from a relaxing holiday to find a full Inbox and a desk of memos, messages and mountain of work.
It is vital to ensure the continuity of service provision remains at a high standard for customers during any holiday season, so planning effective holiday cover is essential for the success of any local business. Take the time with your management team to manage your holiday planning strategy and you will go one step to avoiding holiday headaches caused by poor planning and preparation, and have one happy, motivated and productive workforce!