If there’s one thing guaranteed to create a storm in the workplace, it’s organizing vacation schedules. From everyone wanting the same two weeks in August to families wanting school vacation time only, the issues can cause tensions and lead to problems if scheduling is not done fairly.

Here’s how you can stay on track and get your vacation schedules organized fairly – and have a happy workforce.

Create Limits

One of the easiest ways to get people to take vacations at different times of the year is to make sure only a defined number of employees are away at one time. This ensures you have covered your department’s staffing needs and that vacations are spread through the year. It creates some ground rules for staff and will promote teamwork by encouraging employees to figure out schedules that work for everyone.

You can use software to create these limits, which physically prevents more than the stipulated number to book vacations at one time, or the amount of advanced notice you need before someone takes time off.

Use Employee Scheduling Software

Employee scheduling software is easy to use and saves you time. It takes a matter of minutes to upload schedules and ensure your skill mix is adequate. The software creates limits, sets rotas and can also send the schedule to an employee’s phone. The time you’ll get back can be used to focus on developing your business.

Homebase is an example of an employee scheduling software system that will help you stay in control of your labor costs and define your workforce expectations in an efficient way.

No Repeats

There are some employees who expect the same vacation dates each year. In a busy organization, you have to be fair to everyone and ensure the business stays productive.

When scheduling, you can recall last year’s roster and give preference to other employees who might want those coveted dates. Software makes this type of task easier by blocking dates for some folks and enabling them for others. Don’t forget to work with families and those who care for older relatives. You want to make it possible for them to organize their schedules around schools and carer services.

Look for Patterns

Unfortunately, there are some employees who take sick leave when they are unable to get the vacation dates they want. This is disruptive to departments, which then have to find people to cover the missing person’s shifts.

Give Employees Access

One of the benefits of employee scheduling software is that your workforce can track their schedules with an app and can request dates using simple tools. This means that they can see when other dates are busy so they can explore other options that are open to them. This gives staff the feeling of flexibility. Plus, it will free your time to focus on other issues. They’ll also be able to trade shifts among themselves — with manager approval — using the free Homebase mobile app.

Creating those leave schedules is an onerous task that takes up time for managers. By investing in a software package to organize the schedule, you’ll have a fair system for your workers and free up your time. Your workers will see fairness in the workplace and engage with the process in a positive way.

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