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Managing Employees' Vacation Days

Posted by Jeff Pelliccio on Aug 8, 2017 9:00:00 AM

In ICS insights

"Yeah, I'm gonna need you to come in on Saturday..." If you've ever muttered these words to an employee, you may be adding to their eventual burnout. There is a fine line between working hard and working yourself into the ground. Your employees need ample time to recharge and come back fresh and ready to take on new challenges. When we came across this article about vacation days, we thought well that's a no brainer, but it's surprising that most people do not take their full vacation days. It reminded us that the ball is also in the employer's court when it comes to encouraging rest and relaxation time. Contrary to popular belief, ignoring vacation will not make employees more productive. 

Here are some tips to manage those vacation trips:

Failure to Plan is Planning to Fail

You need to plan out vacation times.  Failure to do so will result in chaos. Before you know it, your entire team could be out on the same day, leaving you to pick up the pieces. When you put a plan in place, you can control the outcome. Of course, planning it out is only one part of the equation. You'll need the employee's plan as well. 

Open Communication

Communication is key in any situation. Let your employees feel like they can come to you with anything and in turn you must come to them with your needs and expectations. If they need a day off for mental health day, let them voice that and you need to let them know when you need them in the office. Some days are more necessary than others and when your employees know that information, they can plan accordingly. Make sure everyone knows your "busy season" or when high priority deadlines are due. This will prevent a lot of headaches in the future. Just remember that not all days off can be planned for and accounted.

Be Flexible

Some vacation days aren't refundable, some deaths aren't predictable, and some life events aren't scheduled, so be flexible. There are going to be days that come up last minute but that's what communication is for to find a solution that works. Be able to pivot when things come up throughout the year. Use your employees as assets and not crutches. Let them have the ability to miss a day without the kingdom tumbling down with them. 

Working From Home is Not a Vacation

Don't assume that working from home is a vacation day for your employee. Just because a certain employee has the perk of working from home doesn't not mean they need less of a break. Some employees work harder at home than they do in the office. Don't make these assumptions and you'll be ready for when that employee needs a week off.

Make it a Team Effort

Get the team involved if taking a day off will impact the workflow. Have others pickup the slack on workflows, forward heavily used mailboxes to employees who are active, and make sure every employee in the team knows that the rest of the team would do the same for them when they take a vacation day. You don't want employees to refrain from taking vacation time because they don't want to impose on others. Make it known that this is not an imposition and it is just a part of being on the team. 

Encourage It

Do not go silent and think that is a stamp of approval. You need to be vocal about encouraging vacation days. Many employees think skipping days off will give them major brownie points with the boss, but you need to make it clear that you are in favor of vacation days. This will clear any assumptions and push employees to take off. 

Start a Sharefolder

In the event that you cannot reach an employee in an emergency, have a sharefolder on hand so that all pertinent documents can be accessible to those present. You don't want to be caught in a situation that affects your team's productivity. Make time off work for you. 

Remember, your employee is running on a battery that must be recharged every now and then. Failure to do so will cause a short circuit and cause more damage than had it taken a break. We care about your teams and the efficiency they add to your company. If you need talent to assemble such a team, contact us and we'll deliver the best. 

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