Effectively Manage Your Employees’ Annual Leaves
As a medium-size business ourselves, we are often asked about how we manage annual leave and ensure that the business is moving forward and the client’s expectations are met, particularly around peak holiday periods.
Annual Leaves and Business Productivity
Research suggests that offering employees more annual leave may increase productivity as employees are motivated to work harder knowing that a well-earned break is around the corner. What’s more, a happier, rested workforce reduces the risk of injury and burnout. Generous leave entitlements can also promote loyalty and build trust between the employer and employee, by demonstrating managers care for their employees’ wellbeing, and not just their bottom line.
Pros and Cons
There are Pros and Cons for increasing annual leave entitlements while keeping a small or medium business running smoothly and people are on leave can be tricky. When everyone is already operating at capacity, any reduction in team members can place a strain on the day to day operations.
The upcoming Easter holidays is a peak season for annual leave requests, which can mean overlapping requests for leave. This can leave business owners and managers trying to juggle the competing interests of all parties. If poorly managed, this can leave your short or handling disgruntled workers over holiday periods.
What can you do to effectively manage annual leave?
1. Plan Ahead
Businesses and managers should have a clear view of operations, recognising key periods where all hands are needed on deck, as well as quieter periods when staff can be encouraged to take breaks.
This will help avoid bottlenecks and short-staffing.
2. Transparency and flexibility
Consider introducing a shared leave calendar that all employees can access and discussing openly in team meetings to provide visibility of who has scheduled leave, when and for how long. Most people understand annual leave is subject to approval, based on staffing levels and work demands. This should encourage self-selection and helps with the leave approval process. Employees can easily identify periods where others have already applied for leave and be prudent in their own planning.
During peak holiday periods such as school holidays, try to ensure parents have the chance to take some time off to spend time with their families.
3. Encourage frequent holidays
Employers should encourage staff to take regular breaks throughout the year. Not only will this help maintain adequate staffing levels all year round, but it will also ensure people are regularly getting time to rest and rejuvenate.
As for people who are looking forward to a month-long holiday, it’s important to set an expectation that such trips need to be identified with plenty of notice. Consider how the proposed leave will impact the team and workloads and identify ways to lighten the load for remaining team members.
Annual Leave is important to maintain wellness and work-life balance and should be encouraged by employers. With the right processes in place, you can ensure you successfully managing absences while ensuring people have access to the proper time to rest, relax and recuperate.
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