Regardless of how you run your business or how many people you employ, holiday entitlements are a fact of employment life! So you need to be confident that you can manage your staff holidays in a way which keeps the business running as it should.
Have a holiday policy
To make sure you take a consistent approach to handling holiday requests and managing requests for extended leave, you're going to need a policy. Your policy should cover everything from:
How an employee should request holiday
How much notice is required for a period of holiday
How multiple requests for particular public holidays will be managed
Reasons for which holiday requests may be denied
This make it very clear to your employees what is expected of them, and helps you as as manager follow the same process with everyone, which becomes more of a challenge the more people you employ.
Consider holiday ban periods
If you have very clear peaks and troughs in your workload, you may want to ban holiday requests during your peak periods. This is something which you need to ensure is communicated to staff both in their employment contracts and in your holiday policy in order for it to be enforceable. This method encourages employees to take their holidays during periods where you're not as busy and will have less of an operational impact on the business. It's very popular with manufacturing businesses but can be used in any business, as long as it's clearly set out in your contracts.
Have a system
Keeping track of who has taken what holiday, when and who it was approved by is a MISSION. Even with spreadsheets - who wants to be manually tracking holidays for more than one person? Not me! I highly recommend having a HR management system to help you minimise the administration associated with holidays. All those holiday request/cancellation forms and all those spreadsheets can be a thing of the past with the right software in place. The time it could save you alone is enough to make it worth the investment.
Got more questions about holidays? Book yourself in for a HR Taster Session...it's free!