For management, scheduling holiday requests is almost always difficult and complicated. However, remember that for your workforce, these days are much longed for and have a very restorative effect. If you’re able to find a way to make staff holiday scheduling simple and straightforward then you can foster very positive ongoing relationships with your people, as well as making your life easier.
Analyse the patterns over the past couple of years Often the biggest problem with requests for holiday is simply being unprepared for them. Most people tend to want to take their holidays at the same times in the year – during the school holidays, to connect up bank holiday weekends and across other national days. If you look back over the last couple of years you’ll be able to see when the peak periods are likely to be. This will give you the insight to organise staffing around those times, as well as creating a holiday request procedure that will make it easiest for everyone.
Have a clear holiday policy When you clearly define the process for holiday requests then everyone knows where they stand. The likelihood of being hit with last minute absence requests, or people becoming disgruntled because they feel others have been given what they weren’t, can be avoided with an unambiguous holiday policy. The policy should include the notice that needs to be given for holiday requests, any time periods during which it’s not possible for certain staff to take time off, as well as any caps on the number of staff who can be on holiday in one particular part of the restaurant at one time. Where there is a first come first served policy for holiday days at certain times then make this clear in the policy too.
Be flexible where you can If you have a lot of holiday requests for one particular time period it’s often worth looking into temporary cover. A team of reliable temps who can be called on as and when required can make life a lot easier when it comes to managing your permanent staff. Allowing staff to trade shifts is another simple and effective method of managing holiday requests flexibly. This transfers the responsibility for arranging cover to the employee while at the same time allowing them the flexibility to take off the time that they specifically want.
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