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Are you in control of your annual leave process?

Published on 07 July 2017

Are you in control of your annual leave process?

We are coming up to the time of year when everyone wants to take their holidays. Do you have your annual leave process under control or are you setting yourself up for issues? There are a number of points to keep in mind to help manage the whole process to lessen difficulties and to help increase staff morale.

  1. Guaranteed holidays. Several our members offer guaranteed holidays when the dates are released each year. Everyone is given a specific time when they can ask for their main two-week holiday. They give three choices and members tell us that the majority get their first choice and everyone gets one of their top three.
  2. Think about when your holiday year runs. One of our members told me that their holiday year runs from September. This means that if anyone has a few days to take they can be persuaded to take them in the summer months. It helps that this member is quieter in the summer then winter.
  3. Don’t flatline your holiday allowances. Very few people want to take two weeks off in February, while a majority want to take time when the kids are off from school. Why not lower the number of holidays you give at the less busy time of year and increase it when there is demand? You can manage your other shrinkages to balance this out.
  4. Manage your thresholds all year round. We often only look at the holidays remaining as we come up to the end of the holiday year. But we know what percentage we have set for the allowance each month or week. Keep an eye, are you reaching that target? If not, you are setting yourself up for issues. Also keep an eye on individuals – is there someone who has got half way through the year and not booked any holidays?
  5. Have clear policies. Everyone needs to be clear in advance about what the policy is at the end of the year if there are days left to take. Can they be carried over? Can your agents buy or sell holiday days?
  6. Be careful with automation. It can be really good for morale when agents can book their own holiday in the system. Allowing them to see if a day is available can take away the felling that the planning team always says no to my requests. But keep an eye on sickness on days that are fully booked. In the past we would have had a record of who requested the day off but now agents may not request a day they know has no availability but just take a day off on sick.

Just taking some thought on how you manage the whole process can take away some of the headaches you might face and lead to operations being happier.

Do you have any other ideas on how to manage Annual Leave? Do you do something different in your centre that really works for you? Get in touch and I will share with the community. Email me on Or perhaps you would like to discuss other ways to manage your headcount on a daily basis. 

Author: Alison Congahan, Customer Contact Specialist

Date Published: 07/07/2017

Comments (0)Number of views (18)

Author: Leanne McNamee

Categories: Library, Planning & Resourcing


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