Thursday kicks off this year’s holiday season. While this can be one of your dealership’s most lucrative times of the year, it can also be tricky as your employees, understandably, would prefer to spend their time with family and friends rather than on the lot. As a dealership manager, it takes some finesse to balance the needs of your staff with the needs of the business. Here are a few practical ways to manage time off requests.
1. Stick to the Book
If your company has a policy about time off, then that’s the place to start. You may already have standards in place that communicate how these requests are handled. While this way of dealing with time off during the holidays may not be popular, it’s hard to argue with and give you something to work with when determining if someone can or can’t take off time. This could eliminate or take care of some of the requests if they don’t fall into specific parameters, say, the employee in question has already used up their allotted off days.
2. Incentivize Staying
Thanksgiving with your family is nice, but so is a little extra money when shopping for Christmas. Offering incentives to employees who stay on during surge holiday times is another way of ensuring you’re not short staffed over holiday weekends. Some excellent incentives include money or extra time off at other points in the year.
3. Operate on Rotate
Another way to deal with holiday requests is to come up with a rotating schedule that allows for staggered vacation times. Some can come in mornings and others afternoons and still others in the evenings. Alternatively, offer rotations based on days, with some working half the week and others the other half. This way, you’re covered the whole way through, and your staff gets at least part of the holiday off.
4. Out With the Old, in With the New
If you have many employees clamoring for the same days off, an additional method of differentiating who gets the day and who has to stay is seniority. This way, requests are granted based on how long a team member has been with you. This isn’t a perfect system, as sometimes those who’ve been with you longest are those you might need most during the holiday rush. However, if it’s possible, seniority is one way to grant requests with less grumbling in the ranks because most would acknowledge that long service should be rewarded.
5. First Come, First Off
Finally, if you’re inundated with requests, make a finite number of employees that can miss each holiday. Then, allow employees to take those spots on a first come, first served basis. This should be set up in advance so you can plan to cover those who are out.
It’s understandable that employees would want a little time during this season, and it’s easy to become overwhelmed. That said, you don’t need to be. Choose the right system for you, and your dealership can run smoothly even with some celebratory time off.