6 Ways to Handle Holiday Vacation Requests

December 12, 2017

The holidays not only bring sweet treats and thoughtful gifts, but they also cause an influx of vacation requests from employees. And, unfortunately for managers, not everyone can take off at the same time. Managing vacation requests is tricky, but with these strategies, you can keep your employees happy and ensure your business stays up and running throughout the holidays.

  1. Plan in advance.Though this tip is pretty obvious, it’s essential to handling holiday vacation requests. Require your employees to request their holiday vacation days at least 3 months in advance. This way those who know they need time off can be sure to secure it. Plus, it gives you time to make a schedule.
  1. Use the first come, first served strategy. You can’t go wrong with this time-tested approach that rewards employees who plan ahead. To avoid confusion, be sure your employees are aware of this policy and know when and how to request time off.
  1. Allow employees to work from home. If your team can work remotely, letting them work from home during the holidays is a productive way to get things done without causing internal battles for days off or having to bring in additional staff. This way your employees can travel to see their families while staying engaged with work.
  1. Offer pay differentials. If you need more coverage close to the holidays, offering a holiday pay differential can keep your business staffed. But, be sure it’s a part of your company’s policy and not something you offer to entice an employee not to take off.
  1. Hire temporary employees. For many businesses, the holidays are the busiest time of year. If your business falls under this category or you know a lot of your staff has requested time off, hiring temporary employees is an effective solution for keeping your business staffed throughout the holidays. Temporary employees are often searching for extra-work during the holidays and are usually prepared and willing to work weekends, holidays and long hours.
  1. Be apologetic and appreciative. Most importantly, don’t be a Grinch. If you have to deny vacation requests, show your employees that you care by expressing your apologies and being sympathetic. Perhaps show how appreciative you are by bringing holiday treats to the office, offering them a half day off in January or a lunch on the company.

Managing vacation requests is not a fun job and can add stress to the holidays. Be sure your team understands the company’s vacation policies and be fair, flexible and kind when making the holiday schedule.

ITAC Solutions is a recruiting firm headquartered in Birmingham with additional offices in Atlanta, Huntsville, Mobile and Nashville.  ITAC specializes in the temporary, contract, and direct placement of accounting, information technology, corporate and administrative professionals.