Five Ideas for Handling Employee Summer Vacation Requests

Summer is officially here, and everyone wants to escape to a beach and listen to the waves crash upon the shore. But if all your employees act on this impulse at once, there will be no one around to manage your medical office. Handling employee summer vacation requests can be overwhelming, but with some set policies and timely preparation, seamless vacation scheduling can be achieved. Here are five ideas for handling employee summer vacation requests.

Have a clear policy and formal system in place.

It is important that this policy is put into place at the beginning of the year so there is no confusion when summertime hits. Discuss this policy with your employees upon hire, and a few times throughout the year, such as around the holidays and before summer vacation. Ensure that your staff knows that while you will try to avoid rearranging employee summer vacation requests and schedules, management does have the right to do so to meet office demands if need be.

Set deadlines.

Set a deadline for submitting summer vacation requests that gives you and your office plenty of time to arrange your office and all responsibilities while employees are gone.

Prepare for changes.

In a perfect world, employees would follow deadlines and take vacation time in a smooth and orderly process. But the medical world is far from perfect and things can happen. Your best bet is to prepare for these instances before they happen. Ensure there is an established routine in your office for when this occurs. Make sure there is someone who can do the job of a team member who is unexpectedly out or when vacation time overlaps. Before they leave, know their duties, make sure that you are able to access all files and have important passwords. Be sure to request updated contact information in case you need to get in touch with them.

Empower your team.

Leave scheduling summer vacation requests in the hands of your team. Oftentimes this works best because it makes your employees feel more in control and less micromanaged. Let your staff figure out their vacations among themselves and make sure they are responsible for not overlapping. Give them the responsibility of preparing and ensuring their responsibilities are handled while they are gone. This will make your staff feel empowered and will give them more flexibility.

Offer incentives.

Despite your best efforts, there will be times when many people need the same dates off. Offer bonuses or overtime pay for employees who agree to work during high vacation times. While this may cost a little more, it makes your staff feel valued and puts a little extra in their pocket.

Managing time off requests is a challenge for any medical practice. But by following these tips, you can develop a working system for summer vacation requests that is fair and rewarding for your company and employees.

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