How To Create a Vacation Schedule

Vacation Schedules
Planning and implementing vacation schedules for businesses is often complex.  Depending on the terms of hire regarding allotted vacation, set up a vacation schedule so that it doesn’t create downtime in regular workflow and productivity.  If there is a clearly defined company policy, it should be in writing and distributed to all new hires so that confusion is diminished.  A specific policy on the number of vacation days an employer offers should be clearly outlined in the business's policy and procedures manual.  It's expedient to insure that vacations be restricted if workflow is heavier at certain times of the year. Make sure the number of holidays are also understood and presented in policy manuals.

Create a Vacation Schedule
Once employees know their company's policy on vacations and holidays, it's easier for the employer to create a regular vacation schedule. If necessary, appoint a specific staff planner to manage all vacation schedules.  Vacation management is crucial to avoiding gaps in workflow.  In terms of vacation management, create 4 quarters of the year as part of the vacation program.  In each quarter, allot vacations to a specific number of days per quarter. Have the staff planner distribute an annual vacation calendar that specifies the number of vacation days allowed for each employee.  This calendar becomes your employee planner for vacations and your employees' personal reminder of their vacation schedule.  If there is a conflict with employees who wish to take vacation in the same time frame, it can be settled through seniority. If any changes occur, employees simply indicate changes on a copy of their personal vacation calendar and submit it to your staff planner.  This is the way to maintain good balance when creating a vacation schedule.

Be Consistent
Although there may always be changes made to schedules for one reason or another, it needn't cause problems if the vacation program is consistent and clearly understood by all employees. Once in place, the vacation program insures adequate staffing for all business days. It's important that the employee planner keep all executives up-to-date on any major changes to avoid conflicts. If the staff is very large, there may be a need to hire for a vacation job that is focused solely on the ability to create vacation schedules. Time is money in any business.  Revenue is easily lost through inadequate vacation scheduling. Maintaining a consistent vacation scheduling policy is key to a smooth, well-coordinated vacation program.

Create a Vacation Schedule for Small Businesses
For businesses with a staff of less than 10 employees, the need to create a vacation program that covers all areas of business at all times, may be a bit more complex.  Employees need to understand that offering adequate business coverage helps present a more professional image to clients.


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