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How to deal with people wanting time off around the holidays.

Staffing for the holidays can be an employer's biggest headache!

Many people want to have numerous days off through the holidays, or will choose to call out sick if they can't get the time off. This can cause issues in any kind of business. To avoid some of the hardships, the best step is a proactive one. If a business takes a proactive, organized approach to the holidays there can be less unplanned activity.


To be proactive, talk to your people early on, before the holidays. Try to find out how many will be looking to take the time off, and then evaluate the situation.

Make sure you are not making promises, or telling your staff that everyone will be given the time off. This can bring on more problems that you really want. Email is a great method, or asking your employees individually. This helps to avoid any large discussions or debates.

Try to find out who is wanting the time off, and who will have any paid time left to take it off.

If you have a large number of your staff requesting the time off, you then have to make a decision on how to work with them fairly, but keeping the business needs in mind.

Possible recommendations are:
Seniority rules
First come first serve basis
Alternate, employees who had the days last year, don't the next
Offering incentives for those who do work through the holidays
Giving the time off to employees who still have remaining paid time off
The employees who have had great attendance and flexibility get the first choice

If you look at a couple of different options, this will help your staff make good decisions about their time.

The staff you employ will appreciate the proactiveness and willingness to be flexible with them.

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