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Managing workforce holiday: A guide for business owners

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This summer has brought with it several major sporting events – The Euros, Wimbledon and the Tour de France are currently all in progress, and the Olympics begin later in July. While this can be good news for businesses working in hospitality and retail, there can also be a dip in productivity as employees take time off or become distracted during major matches or events.

Some businesses adopt flexible working hours or set up viewing areas to maintain their employees’ morale and engagement.

However, it may be worth reviewing your holiday policies. Managing employee holidays can be a bit of a balancing act at the best of times, but with some thoughtful planning, you can keep your business running smoothly while ensuring your team gets the break they deserve. Here are some tips to help you out:

Craft a Clear Policy

First things first, have a straightforward holiday policy in place. Make sure it covers how holidays are accrued, the procedure for booking time off, and any blackout periods when holidays aren’t allowed. Clear communication is key here.

Plan Ahead

Keep an annual holiday calendar. This will help you see at a glance who’s off and when, so you can plan ahead. Try to encourage your team to spread their holidays throughout the year to avoid everyone wanting time off at once.

Embrace Technology

Use HR software to manage holiday requests and approvals. It makes tracking who’s off and when a breeze and ensures everyone’s requests are handled fairly and promptly.

Encourage Early Requests

Get your team to put in their holiday requests early. The earlier you know who wants time off, the better you can plan. This also helps avoid any last-minute rushes for the same dates.

Cross-Train Your Team

Cross-training your staff means your business can still run smoothly even when someone is off. It’s a good way to ensure no single employee is irreplaceable for everyday tasks.

Monitor and Adjust

Regularly review your holiday policy and how it’s working. Get feedback from your team and be ready to make changes if necessary. Flexibility can go a long way in keeping everyone happy.

Promote Work-Life Balance

Encourage your employees to use their holiday entitlement. It’s important for their well-being and helps prevent burnout. Make it a point to respect their time off by not contacting them about work unless it’s absolutely necessary.

By following these tips, you can create a harmonious work environment where employees feel valued and rested and able to enjoy the events that matter to them, and your business can thrive even when team members are on holiday.

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