Summer is now in full swing. Temperatures are rising, the kids are out of school for the summer, and many employees are putting in requests for vacation time. Right now you may be asking yourself what you can do to ensure your office is covered during vacation season. If your office doesn’t have adequate coverage you risk irritating your residents, loosing track of critical deadlines, and falling behind in your business operations.
We’ve gathered a few simple tips to help you and your team weather vacation season with success. We hope these suggestions help you have a wonderful and productive summer.
The sooner you know, the better.
The best way to manage your staffing needs is to request employees to submit their summer vacation requests with as much advanced notice as possible. Once you know their requests, you can identify any potential conflicts in the schedule that may negatively impact office operations. This practice will give you ample time to plan accordingly to ensure your office has adequate coverage during the summer season. For example, do you need to train another employee to provide coverage for someone who will be out? If so, it is best to handle this in advance.
Staying organized is critical.
Do you have an office calendar? Having one in an electronic format that everyone can access is ideal but a paper one will work as well. If you don’t have an office calendar in place already, now is the prefect time to create one. This will allow you to track vacation time and identify gaps in coverage in advance. In addition, this calendar can help staff members plan their vacation time in a more efficient way that doesn’t hinder office operations.
Cross training is a valuable tool.
The best way to mitigate coverage issues is to ensure team members are cross trained in other areas of your day-to-day business operations. Emergencies and unexpected absences happen. If your team members are cross trained, they can easily step up to fill in for individuals who are out on vacation or absent unexpectedly. Don’t forget- the summer season is the perfect time to conduct team building exercises! You may be surprised how employees gain new respect for other coworkers once they walk a day in their shoes.
There is no substitute for having a vacation policy in place.
Do you have a vacation policy your team members are required to adhere to? For example, some managers prefer to have a first-come, first-served vacation policy that allows for no more than 2-3 team members to be absent on the same day. Regardless of the specifics of your policy, having a policy in writing will set the expectations for your team and provide you with the ability to properly manage time off in your office.