American Airlines, one of the largest airlines, once scrambled to find staff to cover 15,000 flights after a bug in the pilot scheduling system allowed too many pilots to request time off around the holidays.
Managing PTO requests during the holiday season can be a slippery slope because no one wants to tell an employee that they can’t have the time off to spend time with family. However, the holiday season serves as a very busy time for many businesses and requires appropriate staffing levels to take care of their clients.
Here are 4 approaches that you can take to fairly approve PTO requests while ensuring that your organization does not goes understaffed during the holiday season:
1. Establish A Policy for Overlapping Requests
It’s inevitable that you will have overlapping time off requests. Be proactive and set guidelines and policies on how a manager selects who is approved for time off. Some popular policies to consider are:
2. Leverage HCM & Workforce Management Technology
Automate the capture and record keeping of all PTO records by leveraging technology available with most HCM or Time and Labor Solutions. Visibility for both employees and managers helps you avoid conflict and the challenges associated with poor record keeping. Furthermore, the process for requesting time off needs to be consistent. Each one of your people should be given the same form to submit via web, mobile, or manually depending on your organization. Automating this process drives overall efficiency and consistency.
3. Empower Your People to Find their Own Replacements
Provide your people with the tools and information that they need to find a team member to swap shifts. Social collaboration software offers your people the ability to post to an entire team, department, or organization for a replacement. This eliminates managers having to call down long phone lists in hopes of finding a substitute.
4. Plan for Emergencies
Always have a backup plan. No shows and last-minute call offs are going to happen, especially during this time of the year. Create a group of reliable part-time workers that you can call on when PTO requests are high or you’re in a pinch.
Efficiently managing your people and PTO requests is crucial for both your people’s happiness and organization’s success. Take the necessary steps and activate a plan so that your organization doesn’t go understaffed this holiday season.
This blog was written by Ally Edwards, Marketing Guru at PeopleGuru. This post may not be copied or published without PeopleGuru's express written permission.