With summer fast approaching, there’s a good chance you’ll be preparing your business for the holiday rush.

When schools break up, the music festival season starts and the nice weather (hopefully) begins, your staff will start booking annual leave—if they haven’t started already.

For many employers at SMEs, trying to juggle business needs while accepting staff holiday requests is hard. So, if that sounds familiar, here three ways to deal with the busy holiday period:

  1. Plan ahead and get cover

Think about what happened last summer. Did you have any unexpected absence clashes? Did you find yourself short staffed at any point?

Learn from last year to make sure any issues don’t happen again and remind your staff about your policies and expectations. If you do expect to be short staffed, think about bringing in temporary workers.

  1. If you can, be flexible

Childcare can be a big issue during summer when parents need to organise alternative arrangements. See if you can be flexible and negotiate a temporary change to staff working patterns.

It could benefit your business in more ways than you might realise, too. Parents who have a good balance between their work and family responsibilities are less stressed and have fewer absences.

  1. You can say no

It is perfectly acceptable to refuse staff holiday requests. Always give them proper consideration and, if you need to decline them, explain your reasons.

That way, your employee shouldn’t feel like you’ve treated them unfairly or that you’ve done so for a reason other than the one you’ve said. Ultimately, you have to do what’s best for your business.

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