For small businesses, coping with staff holidays at this time of year can prove a real headache. Even one member of a small team away on a fortnight’s holiday can be challenging. But several members of the team all away in the same week can be critical for a small business.

citrusHR has developed some simple guidelines to help you manage holidays to minimize the impact they have upon your business:

  1. Use a holiday planner so that you can easily see who’s on holiday when. That way you’ll know, when someone applies for a week in August, whether you’ve already got other key members of the team on holiday that same week. citrusHR includes a simple but highly effective holiday planner to do just this. Click here to find out more.
  2. Have a clear holiday request procedure. Let everyone know how they apply for holiday and undertake to approve or decline holiday requests within a specific period. That will help staff go ahead and confirm their holiday plans with their family in good time. How much notice do you need? No one likes having last-minute plans sprung upon them, and it’s the same deal for companies. Decide on a (realistic) notice period you require your employees to allow you when they want to book their holidays.
  3. If you can, decide how many employees can be off on the same day. Take into account workload levels and identify the vital tasks needed to continue running your business smoothly. Will there be someone around to cover each of these? Consider how conflicts will be avoided if staff members want the same time off – will you approve it on a first-come, first-served basis? By seniority? Longest service?
  4. Define your ‘carry-over’ policy. Remind and encourage your employees to make full useof their leave entitlement during the year. It means that employees get regular breaks, cpme back to work refreshed and productive, and also has less of a dent on business operations. However, you may wish to allow staff to carry unused holiday allowance into the next year, in which case you need to decide on whether to implement a cap or not, or whether to consider each case on an individual basis.
  5. Set up a handover procedure. One way to help things run extra smoothly is to implement a handover procedure for staff about to go away on holiday. Begin by deciding which roles require this kind of write preparation, and which ones merely require an oral handover. Facilitate a sit-down between staff members about to go away, and those they are handing over to.

The administrative side of such employee management can seem rather daunting – luckily, citrusHR’s Holiday Planner is designed to streamline common tasks such as requesting and allocating leave, track holiday allowance for individual employees and even approving additional holiday allowance when needed. We can even calculate holiday allowance for part-time staff members, taking all the hassle off of your (probably already very full) plate.

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