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During the holidays, companies are inundated with requests for time off. If not managed properly, this can cripple the business in an already busy time of year and also create internal strife. To prevent any problems this season, human resources experts and business owners offer their top tips to manage employee holiday time off. One option is for a business to plan its holiday schedule well in advance – even months ahead of time. The business might also institute a “first come, first served” policy, where there is a limited amount of time off and employees who submit their requests earliest will have the first shot at it. Another option is to stagger employee vacation scheduling, which both enables a company to always have coverage and gives employees vacation during the holidays. Experts also recommend keeping a pool of part-timers to tap when extra help is needed, especially if a business picks up during the holiday season. Another tip is to offer a holiday pay differential. Some workers are willing to take the extra holiday pay instead of time off. Furthermore, if a business is particularly busy during the holiday season, such as retail, it might be necessary to institute a vacation blackout period where no one can take off. Finally, if your staff does not have to be on site, letting them work at home during the holidays can be a productive way to get things done without having to bring in additional staff.

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