Employee Management During the Summer Months

24 June 2021

Summer’s finally here! Queue the Summer BBQs and trips to the Beach. Over the past few weeks, we’ve seen an increase in temperature and, as we work towards COVID restrictions being lifted, the majority of the working population will be looking forward to a much-deserved rest, many of whom probably have large amounts of annual leave to use after working through the pandemic. On top of that, we also have a summer of sport, the Euros are now well under way, we have the Olympics in Japan and a Lions tour for rugby fans to look forward to.

Whilst this is all very exciting and the thought of having some free time’s at the forefront of most people’s minds right now, it can be a cause of huge stress for employers, with a larger number of team members requesting holiday at the same time or even increased levels of sickness absence, the business still needs to operate and it’s important managers and business owners are thinking about how they can plan for this period to reduce the impact of absence. We’ll look at some of the key things to be aware of and to make sure you’re doing this season…

Resource plan –

Resource planning’s key during periods where employees may be looking to take time off. If you don’t effectively resource plan, you leave your business open to risk of not being able to meet client expectations and your business targets. Ensure that you know the minimum number of employees which the business can operate with at any one time and communicate this to your employees to help manage their expectations.

Ensure you understand the business policy around requesting holiday –

Most businesses will have a process for the booking of annual leave and the lengths of time which employees can take at once. If you don’t then our advice would be to ask employees for at least two weeks’ notice of any annual leave request, approve annual leave on a first come, first served basis, and allow no more than two consecutive weeks unless there are exceptional circumstances. This will allow you to be clear who’s available.

Communicate with your employees –

It’s difficult to keep everyone happy and especially during the summer months, when people want to be out with family and friends, and perhaps during the summer holidays after such a long period of restricted contact. This is why it’s important to communicate openly and regularly with your employees, let them know the days which aren’t available for annual leave in advance so they can plan around it and keep them up to date on upcoming work and deadlines so they can let you know their plans, it’s much easier to be proactive, rather than reactive, in these situations.

We all want to enjoy this summer, especially after the past 18-24 months, so be sure to plan ahead during this period and reduce your stress as much as possible. For more tips on employee engagement, management and development, check our HR insights page.