Can a Standard Vacation Policy Help You Keep Up During the Holiday Season?

As the holiday season approaches, more people will start requesting time off during what for many businesses is one of the busiest times of the year. A standard vacation policy for small businesses can help you handle employee time off requests and ensure that the holidays are as productive as any other season. All you need is a plan. Here’s how to decide what yours should look like.

How to Manage Vacation Time for Employees

When everyone wants the same day off, it can be difficult to field requests in a way that’s fair and reasonable. You can approach managing vacation requests from several angles.

To keep reading, click here: Can a Standard Vacation Policy Help You Keep Up During the Holiday Season?

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6 thoughts on “Can a Standard Vacation Policy Help You Keep Up During the Holiday Season?

  1. Our Agency has a hybrid approach. Seniority counts when picking lengthy vacations of 1-2 weeks in duration. A book is circulated at the beginning of the year, in order of seniority, allowing employees to — first — schedule 2 weeks of vacation that can be 2 consecutive weeks or 2 separate 1-week periods. Once everyone has chosen, it’s recirculated, allowing each employee to pick 1 more week. “Spot” leave — that is, annual leave that is not in the vacation choice book — can be requested up to 30 days in advance, as is granted on a first come/first serve basis, until the maximum number that can be allowed off (14% with that particular job) is reached.

  2. I don’t agree with first to ask is approved. I had an employee that would submit time off years in advance for every single day before and after a holiday. The company had to amend the policy because people were quitting over it.

  3. I used to work front desk for a manufacturer and most of the clients would shut down that week between Christmas and New Year’s Day. We did not, but I loved working that week–the phone barely rang. I would save big file dumps and other yearly tasks for that week since nobody was bothering me. I didn’t make enough money to go anywhere, so it was no big deal.

    Also, not everyone celebrates Christmas. Some folks might be okay with covering then and you can give them time off for their significant holidays.

  4. Or you can think about the REI model: close the shop. That can’t work for all employers but it can work for some.

    1. In most cases, it’s not just one day, but multiple days, though – that’s a pretty high bar for most companies/organizations.

  5. With more companies maintaining business operations 24/7, 365 days of the year, the whole concept of taking time off for holidays has to be revised.
    First of all, the employer and employees should have a clear understanding that the needs of the business should be the first priority. If a specific employee feels that all holidays should be paid time off, above and beyond the paid vacation and paid personal and sick time, they may be in the wrong field of work, as not all jobs give such extended time off to all workers. (maybe the top people in Silicon Valley or Google have such privileges).
    What I think this article is trying to point out, is that from the start of employment at the job, the employee should know this information as to policy about time off request, plus should also know that certain times of the year depending on the business may be blackout dates which exclude any time off requests, despite the social pressure to take the time off. I believe there was an article from this same author about a chocolate company that closed up for 30 days and everyone took off (something to do with the mandated school holiday)
    Okay, small business employers will more likely be affected by multiple employees taking the same time off, which the suggestions in this article could be utilized for, with the exception of that one employee who hogs every holiday. But the nature of the business will determine how staffing is done on a daily basis (holiday or not) and employees should know this when starting the job. Not everyone has every holiday whatsoever off unless they are financially self-sufficient to work whenever. If you want the job, you work the job when needed not at your pleasure.

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