We can’t believe it either: it’s just about the middle of June and Summer is in full swing! Summer is typically the best time of year for employees. During the summer kids are out of school, the weather is sunny and hot and that usually calls for vacations with family and friends.
Summer 2020 is different than any employer has ever experienced before. Most kids have been out of school since late February, with no plans of returning until the fall. Some companies have not had an employee in the office since February due to stay at home orders in reaction to the COVID-19 pandemic. Then for many companies, employees are either allowed to work remotely until they feel comfortable enough to return to work, or there aren’t any plans in the near future to return to the office at all.
Employers and HR teams are put in a strange position. As an employer, you might be wondering what to do about vacation time. Is vacation time really necessary since your team has been working remotely for a few months? Do you allow employees to take vacation time since there is lots of work to catch up on or how does the vacation approval process even work? These are all but a few questions many employers want the answers to.
We’re here to tell you that vacation time is absolutely necessary, and here’s why:
The COVID-19 Pandemic has put a pause on many businesses, and you might be thinking that now is the time for your team to return back to work stronger than ever. COVID-19 has put a lot of stress on families, and some families might have lost a source of income, while others have been stuck inside with children for months, and even more are in desperate need of time away from reality.
The success of your organization depends on how you treat your employees during these challenging times. The more understanding and flexible you are with your employees, the more appreciative they will be and willing to go the extra mile for your business.
With that being said, here are some ways you can manage vacation time for your employees this summer:
Have a vacation policy in place
While employees might appreciate flexibility when it comes to a vacation policy, it is best for the operation of your business to have a vacation policy in place.
This vacation policy should be put in writing and shared with your staff. That way, there is some sort of structure and keeps up the good flow of business operation.
Be understanding and considerate of all employees
In small businesses, favoritism is common. The best performing employees tend to get the most vacation time.
However, it’s important that each employee gets their fair share of vacation time.
Unless an employee has used up all their vacation time, or there is an extremely important event happening during their vacation request, their vacation request should be approved.
Also, as an employer or HR manager, it is unnecessary to determine vacation approval based off their usage of their vacation time. Some employees might request a vacation to take their family to the beach, while others might use vacation time to take care of personal needs. Be respectful and understanding of their time-off request.
A lot of hostility comes from managers and employees that take care of vacation time with a “because I said so” attitude. For instance, some managers deny vacation time with no reasoning behind it.
If you have to deny a vacation request, be up front and propose another solution to meet their needs.
Make flexibility a two-way street
Many times, employees request time off during a time where a few things need to get done. As the employer, you want to allow your employee to take the vacation time they requested, but you also want to ensure their job gets done.
Make it clear to your employees that you are willing to approve their vacation time as long as they are able to get pressing tasks done. If there is an important meeting during their vacation, ask that they are virtually present for that meeting.
Be clear about blackout days
Some businesses have days throughout the year where employees absolutely have to be present. For instance, a big annual event that requires employee attendance. If you do have specific days that attendance is required, be clear and let your employees know about those dates as soon as possible.
Also, keep in mind that if you make an exception for one employee to miss the event, you open up the floodgates for all other employees to miss those dates.
Make communication a priority
If employees clearly communicate to managers about vacation time and vice versa, there should be minimal issues. The more transparent your employees are with their vacation requests, the better you will be able to cover their absence and make sure all of the work gets done.
You might also want to consider asking your employees to keep their work phones or emails on in the event of an urgent concern. Of course, that is all dependent on their position and job duties.
Lastly, encourage your team to take their vacation time! This year has been especially tough for everyone. To be quite frank, everyone can use a vacation this year. If you’re reading this, don’t forget to take a vacation for yourself.
At Work2Live, we have the tools you need to ensure your employees have an enjoyable vacation time. Our lifestyle savings accounts are a great tool to ensure your employees have the funds to enjoy their vacation time.
Our lifestyle savings accounts are an employer-funded account that employees can use to make their lifestyle more enjoyable outside of work. This employee perk can be used for many things other than vacation, but it can be used to cover hotel costs, spa treatments and other expenses acquired during vacation.