How to Manage Holiday Requests


 Everybody wants time off in the summer or at Christmas – it’s an age-old problem. This is compounded by some staff that save up their holiday entitlement to disappear for weeks at a time. Naturally, you need to manage these multiple requests so that your company is able to operate, but also so that dissatisfaction doesn’t set it.

 Refusing people their paid leave simply because you have not planned or foreseen their requests is bad management and leaves you having to do the inevitable and make subjective judgement about who can and cannot have their leave. This, of course, generates a certain amount of ill-will when emotions are running high.

Being Positive 

Holiday entitlement, and extra days off, form some of the perks that you can give employees as an added bonus, so instead of waiting for the holiday period to hit you, why not design a strategy that offers time-off at peak holiday time in a measured way?

Knowing that summer and Christmas are hot spot for time off discuss and plan the potential requests well in advance.  Planning this time way ahead is a key. It allows employees to participate (up to a point) and it also prevents certain people feeling disappointed later on.

The Traditional Request Form 

The best thing that you can do to help manage the employees’ time off is to have each employee fill out a request form some time before they need it.  Request forms the best way to keep track of who is taking off and when they are taking the time off to give your company a measure of control. This also allows you to monitor which people appear to be building up large amounts of unused leave which could cause you staffing problems when taken later on — or all in one go.

When it comes to key dates or holiday hot spots, you can introduce a ‘bartering’ scheme so that employees take it upon themselves to make sure your company has enough staff during the time they want to take off. Such things do, of course, happen informally, but having it as a part of your company culture confers employees with a sense of control and responsibility. It also makes the system a little more democratic.

Rewards and Perks 

Additionally, having prime-time days off can be offered as a perk or a reward to high achievers, or those who may have made sacrifices earlier in the years — such as staying later or taking pay cuts when the company is struggling.

In Summary

Just looking at requests for leave as a reactive policy is not going to please anyone. You need to look at your business cycle and staffing requirements. In a multicultural workforce, you also need to consider staff availability in view of differing religious calendars.

 Set expectations early. Review your company or department’s strategic plans for the year and then make everyone aware of critical dates where employees cannot be absent.

This early warning also encourages employees to use some of their leave rather than building it up. Do all of the above and set a good example not taking hot-spot time off yourself, and you’ll create an acceptance of the need to regulate or diffuse multiple leave requests.

HR Nugget – Getting a Job is Hard Work

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Getting a Job is Hard Work

Getting a Job is Hard Work Many people who apply for jobs but don’t get them assume there was some external force acting against them; they think the interviewer didn’t like them, or that they were over-qualified. That may be true in some cases, but more often than not it’s down to one of the following 4 pitfalls that are so easy to avoid.

1. Your CV needs work Over 90% of CVs are not up to scratch. Too wordy, too boring, too untidy, or just too many errors. People can still get jobs with poor CVs, but why not make it world class? All the resources to do this are at your disposal. You can ask for as much help as possible, but it takes time, hard work and application. If I could give you one piece of advice, above and beyond having no spelling mistakes, it would be to tell them what you do well rather than just what you do. As the reader of a CV, all I need to know is if you are good, not how much you’ve done.

2. You need to do the work Sending a CV to a company or a recruitment agency saying: “here is my CV, can you find me a job?” just will not work. If you are not directly applying for a specific job, your CV could easily get lost in the crowd. Know what you want to do; if you don’t, get career guidance before you look for a job. Apply for specific jobs relevant to what you want and then follow up with a phone call. No one can work harder in getting you a job than you. Own as much of the process as you can. On top of this, realise that over 50% of jobs are not advertised so network with friends and colleagues to try and hear about opportunities.

3. No interview preparation Most people don’t like interviews but that is no excuse for not practicing. Have you mastered anything without planning and practice? Most of the questions can be predicted – ‘talk me through your cv’, ‘what are your strengths and weaknesses?’, ‘how would others describe you?’, ‘why do you want to work here?’, ‘do you have any questions for us?’. Prepare, not just to yourself but in front of a mirror, or recording yourself on your phone. Practice helps enormously, but most people don’t want to put in the time and effort.

4. Attitude and enthusiasm We all like enthusiastic people, we are even more likely to forgive them more and give them a second chance. Companies also love people who come across as motivated and enthusiastic about the job. No matter how you feel at the beginning of the day, make sure you go into the interview with a positive frame of mind. You would be amazed how quickly you can do this. For some people it can be thinking of a great memory, a son or daughter, or a picture they have on their wall. For others it’s exercise or a beach walk – but do whatever you need to do to ensure that when you walk into that room you are at your best.

Getting a job is hard work. Put in the time and effort and do everything you can to get that job, no matter what gets in your way. If you need help, contact Mary