Instead, your favourite scheduling platform finds one for you to cover all of the necessary shifts.
2. DON’T Require Employees to Stay Connected During Their Vacation Time (even though they will be).
We’ve heard the famous saying: communication is key.
But when it comes to vacation time, the last thing your employees want to receive are business messages or phone calls from you or fellow co-workers while they’re off the grid.
A big part of this can stem from their lack of awareness of them being unavailable.
You can easily make their time-off known by sharing your time-off schedule with your entire team directly on your schedule management platform.
After all, an employee’s time- off should be respected.
You can take it a step further by using a leave management solution that enables you to lock their schedule, which will prevent them from being invited to open shifts or receive a replacement request from other workers.
Remember: It’s natural for people to remain constantly connected and engaged employees aim to please.
As much as you may email employers and ensure them that they can answer once they’re back at work, the urge to open unread emails is real.
This is why it’s important to avoid emailing them that much (or at all!) during their time-off, that way there’s no impulse on their end to respond right away.
3. DON’T Neglect to Make a Time-Off Policy
Nobody wants to be the mean boss who rejects an employee’s time-off request.
Whether it be a staycation or personal leave, putting the flexibility in work/life balance is key to maintaining employee engagement.
The last thing you want are assumptions to replace actual facts or have employees constantly ask you questions regarding time-off requests.
You can incorporate your company’s policies into your employee’s handbook and make it accessible for them to look up at any time directly on their phones with a smart scheduling app.
If you have a union agreement, you’re probably already bound by these policies.
Otherwise, you may want to add some flexibility into your time-off policies.
That flexibility should include managerial discretion so that you allow for situations that you can’t plan for ahead of time such as sick leave.
4. DON’T Always Use the Seniority Approach
When it comes to prioritizing time-off requests, there are two common methods used: seniority and first come first serve.
When deciding which one to use, it’s important to know your audience.
Today’s job market has changed and it’s important to adapt to the new reality.
In other words: Play by the rules that make the most sense for your workforce.
For example, if your workforce consists of a younger generation, employing the seniority approach won’t do you much good.
Not only does it emphasize favouritism “by default” but it also leaves a bitter impression since millennials are already more likely to job hop every few years.
By imposing the seniority approach, you’re only giving them more reason to leave.
Instead, focus on giving them a chance by employing a first come first serve basis.
Since they’re already given a heads up about the deadline in advance, they all can request their time -off. Whoever submits their request first is granted the time- off.
However, it’s important to maintain some flexibility.
As some employees are always first to jump in since they don’t have families or loved ones to confirm their vacation time with.
An alternative is to create a rewards system, where you give time-off requests priority to employees who have been going above and beyond in their work such as working during the busy season or meeting their quarterly goals with excellence.
Whichever method you choose, as long as you implement one that adapts accordingly to your team, you won’t leave your team feeling sour but content with your approach.
5. DO Create a Rotating Schedule for All Employees
Did you know that one of the top ten complaints employees have has to do with favouritism?
A big part of it stems from the way you handle your time- off requests.
We all have our favourites but sometimes we prioritize them over others without acknowledging it.
For example, the happy go lucky employee who always seems to have a family emergency every week.
Or better yet: the super outgoing employee who always asks for weekends off in the summer.
The more introverted and silent employees don’t get treated the same way because they don’t “stand out” as much yet probably work just as hard if not better than the former examples.
This is where having a rotating schedule comes into play.
Rotating the off days schedule for your employees is a fair way to manage requests especially during peak time like holidays or weekends.
You may not realize it but impressions last and being forced to work the undesirable shifts leaves an indelible mark on your employees.
Rotating schedules allows everyone a piece of the pie so no resentment is built.
Managing your time-off requests is a delicate balance that involves structured policies while allowing room for flexibility when needed most.
Above all, it involves understanding your workforce needs and ditching the favouritism game.
Now that you know how to manage your time-off requests fairly and easily, if you’d like to streamline your leave management process and save time on everyone’s side, feel free to get in touch with us today!