Avoid Vacation Scheduling Headaches – 3 Ways to Stay Ahead of the Problem

Let’s face it—we all need a break. If you haven’t added some time off to your own calendar, you may want to take a few minutes to pencil some in. Go ahead. I’ll wait.

Feel better? I thought so.

Now that you’ve set aside some vacation time for yourself, it’s time to consider your employees. If they haven’t requested any time off yet, you know it’s coming.

Summer is prime-time for vacations which, while important for employee morale (and everyone’s sanity), can be a big headache for managers trying to balance multiple vacations requests.

How do you stay ahead of the problem, and keep yourself from tearing your hair out every summer? Here are three steps you can take to stay cool and keep the office happy.

    1. Plan ahead. Every staff management plan should have clear vacation policies. While your employees may already have a set number of days off and a set period of time in which they must notify you prior to taking time off—you may need to add a few vacation planning guidelines to your employee scheduling policy during busy vacation times.If you have a season that’s historically difficult when it comes to vacation scheduling, let your staff know in advance when they need to have their requests in by. If you have all your requests in advance, it’ll be much easier for you to plan accordingly.Don’t forget to be clear about your policy either. No one wants their summer plans ruined because they didn’t understand the vacation planning policy.


    1. Involve your employees. Nothing keeps employees engaged quite like getting involved in a decision making process. So, while you’re planning ahead and clarifying the vacation planning policy, open a line of communication with your staff.Are any of them planning a summer vacation? When are they thinking about going, and for how long?Involving your employees allows you to plan ahead and engage with them on a more personal level at the same time.


  1. Communicate clearly. If you’ve already planned ahead and brought your employees into the conversation, the most important thing for you to do now is to keep the communication channels open through the vacation season.If you know you’ll be a little light on staff for a few weeks, make sure that the staff members who will be out communicate any important functions that need to be picked up with those still in the office. Also, make sure you’re up to date on what your staff is working on in case you need to pick up any slack or direct someone else.

Don’t forget to stay positive through the vacation planning process. While vacation scheduling can be a headache for you, your staff will appreciate the break. Keep yourself sane by remembering to plan ahead, keep staff involved, and keep the communication lines open.

Karin Jakovljevic

About the author

Karin Jakovljevic

Karin Jakovljevic is the head of marketing at Ximble, a powerful, cloud-based workforce management system, simplifying employee scheduling and time tracking for retailers, restaurants and small businesses.

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