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WEEKLY AD

Summer Vacations & Time Off: Are You Covered?

Regardless of your age, you probably look forward to summer vacations now as much as you did when you were kid in school. Giving your employees time off for vacations can boost employee morale, but you need to know when to draw a line in the sand. Tracking their time off, helping workers plan for summer vacations, and knowing when to replace employees are all important when warm weather arrives.

Paid Time Off and Morale

Paid time off makes employees happy – it tells your employees that you care about them and respect them. Think of paid days off as rewards for employees who do well at work. The federal government doesn't require that you give employees paid vacation days, but you might find that your employees return to work from vacation days rested, relaxed and ready to start working again.

Working with and Around Employees

You need to have a process in place for scheduling your employees’ summer vacation days so you don’t find yourself with a company but no one there to do the work. While you want to give those workers time off, you don't know how you can manage without them.

Office and productivity software can help you work with your employees to give everyone time off without leaving your office empty. Prior to the widespread use of intranets, employers used paper calendars to track vacation schedules. This new software lets you give preferential treatment to employees who request time off first. Some software will let you record how many paid days off your workers have left throughout the year. You can also input your important client meetings and project deadlines so you know when you can afford to let people go on vacation and when you need them at the office – or when you might want to hire a temp. College students and other workers look for summer jobs with reduced hours, and hiring those workers can help you stay afloat when employees start turning in requests for work vacations.

Enlist Your Employees to Help with Coverage 

Put some standard practices into place around how your employees should leave the office and their work before going on vacation. Reinforce the importance of getting coverage from coworkers on specific projects as well as working ahead whenever possible. Employees will be happy to help each other out because they know it will be reciprocated when they take their time off. Your employees should also be expected to set up their out-of-office email message and voice mail as well as contacting any customers, if necessary.

Giving your employees summer vacations and letting them take advantage of you are two very different things. While workers deserve time off, you deserve a business that still runs efficiently. With the right planning and policies in place, your business shouldn’t miss a beat.

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