It’s the most wonderful time of the year. The shops are filling up with Christmas decorations, kids are getting excited about Santa Claus and the weather is definitely getting colder.
But there’s one thing stopping you from going getting into the festive spirit. Oh yes, it’s all of those annual leave requests that are currently piling up in your emails.
Don’t worry. We’ve got some fool-proof tips to help make the whole process so much easier.
Preparation is key and the sooner you begin to think about the Christmas period the better (ideally you will have started mid-autumn).
Make sure that your employees know how to request time off well in advance, whether that’s through a form or online calendar.
Having a system in place where you can keep a track of holiday requests will help make the process much smoother and give you a measure of control.
You need to have a plan and stick to it. You can’t give your staff time off and then take it back or vice versa.
If employees can see that everyone is being treated according to the same rules, they are less likely to feel resentful or grumpy if they don’t get the time off they want.
Have a plan B
For example, people with young children may want to spend Christmas Eve at home but they might not be bothered about missing out on New Year’s Eve. Give your employees the opportunity to choose and they may be able to work it out amongst themselves. Just make sure that everyone is happy with the outcome.
We know that certain business and services will not be able to close over the holiday period. However, if your staff work in an office you should consider closing up for a few days. After all, it would be a great boost to morale.
At the very least you should be considerate. Allow staff to work from home for some or all of the time. Or perhaps you could shorten your working hours? These little perks can help sweeten the deal.
Another option is to offer premium pay, bonuses or other employee incentives to those who agree to work during the Christmas period. Reward people for their time and they will be much more content with the situation.