How to Prevent Vacation Downtime

In the United States, many employees tend to take vacation leaves during the summer period of July to August, as well as in the holiday season between November (Thanksgiving) and December (Christmas).  Although there should not be any problem about allowing employees to leave work and go on vacation for some time, the problem would arise once the business is left understaffed caused by vacation downtime.

With lesser workers, even if it is for only a few days, your company may suffer significant losses.  This is especially true at present time when customers demand for 24/ 7 service, even on Christmas day.  These suggestions aim to help organizations optimize their effectiveness during the holidays.

Let your workers take their vacation time

Never make an impression that your employees should feel guilty about taking vacation leaves.  Establish a holiday-friendly environment in the workplace in order to reduce stress levels as well as help building trust in the company.

Have your workers prepare before leaving

It is essential that your employees should prepare for his or her absence in the company.  For instance, have a standard holiday forecasting tool that is visible to managers for resource planning.  Your employees who are about to go on a holiday should also prepare for a "desk guide," a document that explains what tasks relating to his or her position need to be accomplished as well as how they are accomplished.

Centralize routine procedures

Your organization should establish procedures that are easy for your customers to follow just in case an important staff member (like the office manager) leaves for the holiday.  Centralize these procedures so that information is organized and accessible to anyone who might need it.

Outsource critical projects

Important projects left by a vacationing employee should not be put on hold and instead outsource a contract and ask an auxiliary worker to step in where the other left off.  Your organization should keep the momentum going on a project instead of waiting to readdress it when an employee returns from vacation.  It is best to appoint an outsource member before the employee departs, rather than after the loss happens.

Have an effective time management

Use vacation downtime wisely.  Schedule other vital activities while other departments are away on vacation such as upgrading computer systems, finishing inventories, replacing furniture among others.  This aims to prevent losses in production once operations become normal.

Inform customers about the vacation leaves

Create an automated response message that customers would receive informing them that their contact in the organization is away for the holidays.  Not doing so may provide a wrong impression that they simply are not returning their calls or responding to their e-mails.

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