15 Strategies For Navigating Summer Vacation Scheduling To Still Hit Quarterly Goals

Crawford Thomas Recruiting Blog

The arrival of summer brings a flurry of vacation requests as employees eagerly plan their well-deserved time off. While encouraging work-life balance is important, it can be a challenge to manage vacation scheduling without compromising the company’s bottom-line quarterly goals. Striking the right balance between granting time off and maintaining productivity is a delicate task for any HR leader.

Below, Forbes Human Resources Council members share impactful ways to navigate summer vacation scheduling while ensuring your team meets the company’s quarterly goals. By implementing these strategies, you can create a harmonious work environment where employees can enjoy their vacations while still driving business success.

1. Collaborating With Other Departments

Cross-collaboration with other departments, such as revenue operations and sales, on forecasting, can provide valuable insight into peak business times. With that knowledge, a strategic vacation scheduling system consisting of staggered time off, advanced communication and cross-functional coverage can help companies meet all of their goals. – Alexander Otero, Konabos

2. Setting Caps On PTO Requests

Planning with advance notice is key. This helps teams prepare for bandwidth concerns and gaps on the team while identifying where additional support may be needed. If there is a cap on how many team members can be out during the same time, then those that requested PTO with the most advance notice should be given priority. For outliers, see if there are resources from other teams that can come in and assist. – Halai Shukran, Pluribus Digital

3. Planning Ahead

Employees should be aware of the busier times of the year and try to plan their time off with their team, to ensure coverage. Ensuring that goals are met and time off is taken requires the team to communicate to make sure that time off is fair to everyone. Planning ahead is always the best way to ensure that every employee has the time that they need while meeting the company’s goals. – Heather Smith, Flimp Communications

4. Prioritizing Projects With Hard Deadlines

Since the summer is our busiest season, we work to balance quarterly goals with the team’s need for time off. We analyze our business needs during the summer months and ensure the whole company is on the same page. We ask the team to check with their manager before scheduling time off so that we have continuous coverage. We prioritize projects and set hard headlines, which we communicate broadly. – Leigh Yanocha, Knopman Marks Financial Training

5. Requesting PTO In Advance

As long as employees request PTO far enough in advance, most problems can be avoided. Summer months often see decreased business activity, which is a good time to encourage employees to take a vacation to avoid a PTO pile-up during the end-of-year holidays. Managers should urge employees to request time off with enough advance notice to ensure all departments and job duties are adequately covered. – John Feldmann, Insperity

6. Cross-Training Employees

Cross-training employees in different roles is an effective way to navigate the summer PTO schedule. It offers staffing flexibility and maintains productivity during peak periods. By investing in cross-training, employees can develop new skills and gain a broader understanding of the business, which can lead to improved job satisfaction, while simultaneously promoting a culture of collaboration. – Cally Stanphill, PainTEQ LLC

7. Establishing Clear Deadlines

Establish clear deadlines and priorities for the entire team in advance. By planning and communicating effectively, the team members can work collaboratively to ensure their critical tasks are completed or delegated before vacation time. This approach reduces stress, maintains productivity and encourages teamwork, leading to a satisfied workforce. – Siddharth Sharma, JP Morgan Chase & Co.

8. Honoring PTO Requests By Seniority

If your organization has challenges with a high demand for PTO in the summer months, a way to be fair and equitable is to allow a window where tenure decides who gets what week during the first quarter of the year, then PTO requests are honored based on a first-come, first-served basis. This allows more junior staff to have a shot at getting some time off but still respects years of service. – Lisa Shuster, iHire

9. Creating A Floating Vacation Day

Implement a “floating vacation policy.” Encourage employees to collaborate and distribute their time-off requests evenly throughout the summer months. This minimizes overlapping absences and maintains productivity. Regular team check-ins and cross-training can also ensure critical tasks are covered during peak vacation periods. – Joseph Soares, IBPROM Corp.

10. Making A Structured PTO Process

Implement a structured and transparent vacation planning process. This ensures that employee vacation requests are accommodated fairly and that the company has sufficient coverage to maintain productivity and meet its objectives. – Britton Bloch, Navy Federal

11. Shifting Projects To Accommodate Travel

Planning for summer vacation time off among employees should be done as far in advance as possible to allow for smooth coordination and project scheduling during Q3. Depending on summer scheduling needs, projects can be shifted as much as possible early on to work around travel. Plan projects that can be done in two- to three-week sprints and involve more maintenance or administrative tasks. – Laura Spawn, Virtual Vocations, Inc.

12. Discussing Vacation Plans With Managers

HR should encourage employees to request PTO in advance, discuss their vacation plans with their manager and coordinate with their team to ensure full coverage. If conflicts arise, HR should also introduce a system for teams to decide who takes vacation when, whether it’s based on seniority, job duties or which request came in first. The important part is to have a system that is fair for everyone. – Niki Jorgensen, Insperity

13. Setting Higher Goals Before Summer

Summer vacation is an objective reality—both our team and our clients are off. We set our targets a bit higher pre- and post-vacation to decrease pressure during the end of July and early August when everybody is away. – Nick Frey, Avomind

14. Avoiding Approval Of Overlapping Vacations

Encourage your team members to schedule their vacations and request time off early in the year so departments can appropriately plan to meet their goals. The goal is to have minimal overlapping vacation requests, so the company can plan to have appropriate coverage based on their metrics. – Erin ImHof, CertiK

15. Making Department-Specific Guidelines

Establishing the minimums or maximums for people to be on or off to meet goals is important. Making the guidelines as to how many people in a certain job type or department can be out at a given time helps to provide transparency to the approval process and can encourage team members to put in for their time off requests well in advance. Planning and coverage are key for those who are out. – William StonehouseCrawford Thomas Recruiting

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Original article here.

Crawford Thomas Recruiting15 Strategies For Navigating Summer Vacation Scheduling To Still Hit Quarterly Goals