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Planning To Give Staff Extra Time Off For The Holidays? Here’s How To Do It Effectively.

The holiday season is approaching and with that, many organizations offer employees time off to spend with loved ones, travel, and rest before the start of a new year. Given that employee time off requests tend to spike around the holidays, it’s important for organizations to ensure that they’re communicating effectively with their employees.

We’re rounded up some best practices for organizations to follow when it comes to

communicating time off:

Be Transparent

It's important for organizations to be transparent about their plans to grant time off to employees. Thinking of giving employees additional days off surrounding a holiday? Tell them with enough notice so they can coordinate and make plans to use that time off in a way that is best for them. Have a big project or important due date near a holiday? If so, you may be a little more strict about approving time off requests that are submitted last-minute. In situations like this it’s important to let employees know ahead of time so they have a heads up and can plan accordingly.

Have Policies Clear + Available

Make sure your organization's time off policies are clearly outlined and easy for employees to locate and refer to as they make their holiday plans. Pin it in Slack, send out an email reminder with a link to your handbook or Ways of Working document, or have it saved somewhere on your organization’s drive where it can be easily located with just a few clicks.

Do you offer floating holidays or allow employees to flex their time off if they have to work a holiday? Do employees receive holiday pay? Do you allow employees to flex their work schedule in lieu of taking entire days off? These are all policies that employees should be able to easily locate and reference as they create their holiday plans.

Provide a Reminder About Procedures

If your organization has specific procedures to follow when requesting time off, make sure employees are given a reminder about those procedures far enough in advance. Does your organization require specific forms to be submitted when requesting time off? Do employees need to submit requests to certain individuals? Ensuring your employees know the procedures they need to follow will help reduce mistakes or misunderstandings, and will allow employees to provide the information needed in a timely manner so that everyone benefits.

Set a Deadline For Requests, If Necessary

If your organization will not be shutting down to observe the holidays, it’s reasonable to give employees a deadline for submitting requests. This will allow your organization the time to make adjustments or alterations to schedules. For example, if multiple members of a team will be out of the office at the same time, you may need to reschedule a team meeting or check-in with a client so that projects can continue to progress while employees are taking time off.

Provide Flexible Scheduling As a Time Off Alternative

Allowing employees to trade shifts or days can be beneficial to both your organization and employees. Giving employees this flexibility can help them to balance their work and family time without requiring them to take extended amounts of time off. Additionally, if employees can flex their days and shifts, it will allow your organization to remain staffed, therefore allowing your organization to continue to be available to your clients and make progress on projects and deadlines.


Need help with clarifying policies or procedures related to employee time off? Reach out to our Cause Capacity team to learn more about how we can help.


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