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The headache of holidays

Now that the holidays are well underway, you are probably feeling the strain of organising and managing your company's leave. Here are some useful tips and ideas to make the whole process a lot easier.

Calming the holiday frenzy

With some workers too afraid to leave their desk, and others determined to use their full holiday entitlement, it's up to office managers, assistants and support staff to take control:

  • The first thing to do is employ a company-wide holiday chart.
  • This will immediately give you birds-eye view of the holiday entitlement of every employee in your company.
  • An overview of everyone's holiday will immediately show you if a period is becoming clogged because everyone wants to take holidays at the same time e.g. Christmas and summer school holidays.
  • It will also show you if there are any conflicting demands – for example if an employee wants to take leave during a time when the company is particular busy or working on a special project.
  • Other conflicts will also immediately become apparent – like when two key people in a department want to take leave at the same time but are unaware of each other's plans.
  • With your company-wide holiday chart, you can plan ahead for the entire year and also keep track of employees who are carrying their entitlement over to the next year.

Tip: To help you organise your company's leave, print a few copies of the company-wide holiday chart. and place them in significant positions around the office. This way, everyone will become aware of who is taking leave when – and conflicts can be avoided before they even reach your desk.

Getting focused

Once you have an overview of the entire company's leave, it's important to drill down and keep track of the leave of each individual employee's leave with an employee holiday chart which will help you to:

  • Keep track of 'holiday martyrs' who are so bogged down by work they avoid taking holidays.
  • Decrease stress levels in the office, improve office productivity and prevent employee burnout by reminding holiday martyrs of their leave entitlement.
  • Relieve each employee from the burden of keeping track of their own leave entitlement – allowing them to focus on the more important things (like increasing their productivity!)
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Tip: Every quarter, or half yearly, print each employee their employee holiday chart, so they can see how many days they are still entitled to. In this way you can efficiently remind everyone of how much leave they've still got left. And get them thinking about when to plan it in.

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