Memorial Day weekend is coming up soon – the official start of the summer season and also vacation season.
By now you have probably scheduled vacations for all your employees. If you haven’t done so, it’s important that you get this taken care of. The first consideration is: Are there any black out dates when people cannot take vacations – for example, an especially busy manufacturing time of year or a special sales promotion is going on.
If you don’t have a strong vacation policy, it’s time to get one. It eliminates a lot of stress when people know what the rules are. You should consider things such as employee seniority when scheduling vacation requests or perhaps you prefer it to be on a first come, first serve basis to book vacation time.
Not too long ago I did a blog post reminding CEOs, presidents and business owners to schedule company vacations. But I want to add another thought about vacations: employees should be required to take the vacation time owed them in the same year it is coming to them. There should be no accumulated vacation time. There are a few reasons why this is important. The first is: it helps people to get away, clear their mind and enjoy themselves. They come back from their vacation ready to take on the next challenge. The second reason is that when an employee is away you get to see what kind of a job they have been doing. Just because they are on vacation the work still goes on. It’s basically the same theory as when someone quits and then you find out what sort of job they were really doing. If you discover any improvement the employee needs to make because something isn’t getting done to your satisfaction you will be able to quickly uncover any weaknesses they may have. When the employee returns from vacation you can approach them in a positive way and coach them to improve their performance. And third, allowing employees to accumulate vacation time that is transferable year-to-year only adds to the company’s bookkeeping responsibilities of keeping track of the time owed. Then if an employee quits or is terminated from the company that accumulated time will have to be paid out to the employee as it is due them.
The final comment I have is don’t forget to schedule your own vacation. I know these are tough business times but it would help you, the CEO, president or business owner, to get away for a few days. At least consider taking an extra day around Memorial Day, 4th of July and Labor Day weekend. Even leave the office an hour early on Fridays during the summer months.