Building a Paid Time Off Policy that Ensures Everyone Gets a Vacation

by Evil HR Lady on July 12, 2018

Your paid time off policy only works if people actually get to use their vacation days. It’s even better if they get to take them when they want to.

Generally, that means during the summer. But what do you do if you’re already short-staffed? It can kill morale if you say “no” to people’s vacation requests, and you could become even more short-staffed if team members call out sick or quit for greener pastures. So, here are a few things you can do to help make sure everyone gets a vacation when they need one.

Plan Ahead

Of course, you can’t plan things perfectly—unforeseen issues often arise. But a lot of tasks can be planned and prepared for in advance. To start, put all the critical deadlines on the calendar; if you’ve got a super busy period coming up, where you really can’t stand to have anyone gone, put that on the calendar as well. Then, tell your team you want them to submit their summer vacation requests by a particular date. If everyone requests different dates, you’re all set. If people want overlapping dates, you’ll have to sort it out.

To keep reading, click here: Building a Paid Time Off Policy that Ensures Everyone Gets a Vacation

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Kathy July 12, 2018 at 6:48 pm

Can I add that the employer also needs to quash any stigma on taking vacation? Some companies reward the “loyalty” of people who don’t take vacation and point them out as examples of great employees. In some companies people brag about how little vacation they’ve taken. A generous vacation policy is no good if it’s trumped by a never-vacation culture.


Tim C. July 13, 2018 at 1:08 pm

You may also add to make a vacation policy such that it is not seniority based. I have seen more than a few employees who left their previous employer due in part that unless you had 10 years seniority, vacation in the summer won’t happen.


Amber July 14, 2018 at 11:44 pm

There are some great points in this post, thank you. I run a small (15-18 employees currently) production company where everyone is vital to the day to day. The owner and myself are the only ones cross trained in every position so it gets very hard for us to take time off. I think the “Lower Your Standards” tip applies to us, I need to remember that. I try to stay positive when employees request multiple days off in a row, but inside I am screaming. I know they deserve it but all I can think is how much more work it makes for me.
Thanks for the great advise!


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