•Create a procedure and set deadlines
∙If you want to fairly manage requests, you need to create a vacation leave request procedure for your employees to follow. Indicate what will occur if an employee misses the deadline to request time off. Will their request still be considered? Will other employees receive priority over their request?
•Communicate your policy
∙As soon as you hire an employee, let them know about your policy and procedure for requesting time off. If employees don’t know your policies, they may be apprehensive about asking for or taking vacation time. Or, employees might assume they can take time off whenever because they are unaware of your vacation policy.
∙When you prioritize requests on a first-come, first-served basis, the employee who submits their request first is the one who receives the time off. When you have multiple requests that are all equally valid and conflicting, you may use seniority to determine who gets the time off. Be wary if you plan to only use the seniority method. Newer employees might feel discouraged about requesting vacation time because they have not been there as long as other employees.
•Plan ahead for busy and slow seasons
∙Every business has peak seasons where they can’t afford to have a bunch of employees on vacation at the same time. For example, businesses in the retail industry are normally busier during November and December because of the holidays.
•Track past requests
∙Keep track of past requests, including when employees make requests, reasons for requesting vacation time, and whether or not you approved the request. Tracking previous requests and vacation time off can help you spot problems and patterns.