Employee vacations are a fundamental part of your Washington or Oregon business setup. Your policy on employee vacations is a reflection of your business culture and the kind of company you want it to be. Unfortunately, conflicts often arise because the needs of the business can interfere with the vacation plans of your employees. If you want to minimize conflicts and keep employee morale high year-round, here are some important tips for dealing with employee vacations.
Be Upfront with Employees
As early as the hiring and orientation stage, you should be upfront with employees about what your vacation policy is. This should keep most employees from being blindsided by the policy when they’re ready to take vacation leave. You should also be upfront with them by asking them to give advance notice before a vacation. This will help to avoid misunderstandings. If your company can’t have multiple employees gone at the same time, let them know that too.
Prepare Ahead of Time for Absences
Your business might be tough to run if even one employee is missing, but you have to do what’s necessary to keep the business’s doors open. Fortunately, if you have some advance notice from employees on when they want to take a vacation, you can arrange for temporary help, negotiate with clients for deadline extensions, and ask for results ahead of the vacation. You might even offer bonuses and incentives to keep some employees around during popular vacation periods. It’s not always easy to manage without certain employees, but if you prepare, you should be able to weather the storm.
Maintain Transparency and Fairness
Employees respond to a work environment where they feel appreciated and respected. Vacation time is one of the most important areas to promote positive morale, because it’s universally desirable. By establishing a fair vacation policy and communicating this to employees, then sticking to it, you make it clear that you care about employees and want to do right by them. If there’s ever a time when you just really don’t feel you can grant vacation time, employees will be more likely to understand and band together.
These are just a few suggestions for how you should operate to deal with employee vacations. For more ideas and to make sure you’re abiding by employment laws and regulations, it might not hurt to get in touch with a Portland or Seattle business lawyer. Whatever you end up implementing as a vacation policy for your business, gauge employee feedback and keep adjusting until it’s a boon to your business.