Many people, especially millennials, value trips over material items. So much so that many millennials prioritized travel over purchasing a home, getting a car, or paying off debt, according to a recent study by Airbnb. With 35 percent of the workforce being millennials, little to no vacation days will go unused.  

While it is the season that most of us look forward to all year, it can be a burden for small business owners who must handle time off requests. A day here, a week there - it can very quickly get overwhelming to manage. When you are exceptionally busy, it makes it difficult to juggle schedules and time off requests – all while allowing your employees to take a well-deserved vacation.

To alleviate the burden of managing requests, we put together a few tips to help you relax this summer.

1. Create and document a time off policy.

Having an employee handbook is key to compliance for your small business. It is a place where you and employees can turn to find answers to common questions and issues.

Outline your expectations for time off requests in your handbook. For example, you can require two weeks’ notice from the date the employee is trying to request off. This allows enough time to make sure you have plenty of people scheduled to cover the empty shift.

Need help creating a handbook that encompasses your time off policy? PrimePay’s HR Advisory comes with handbook templates on a federal and state level, depending on which solution you have.

2. Hire extra help.

If summer is your busy season, you could benefit from hiring seasonal workers. This could be in the form of an internship, a temporary worker, or a student home for the summer. Just be mindful of the ACA requirements, and payroll and tax limitations that come into play with contract and temporary workers. For more information on the Department of Labor’s seasonal employment rules, click here.

3. Allow overtime.

While summer is full of vacation for some, others prefer not to travel during the busy months. For those employees who enjoy working extra shifts or staying a few hours past their end time, consider rewarding them with some additional pay. Make sure to consider overtime when scheduling these employees, as there are strict state requirements in this regard.

For those employees not exceeding overtime standards, a small increase in their hourly wage, if your budget allows, is an easy way to compensate those who put in the extra effort. Just be sure to monitor them so they do not quickly burn out.

4. Schedule in advance.

Make a schedule a few weeks, or even a month in advance. For seasonal jobs, it is important to request your workers’ summer schedule at the beginning of the season. Fifty-nine percent of travelers begin researching their next trip one to three months before departure, says TripAdvisor.  Since many people already have vacations scheduled, it is a great idea to have general overview of when you will be light on staff and plan accordingly.

 Obviously, it can be subject to change. If one week is trending to be a popular time to take off, you can blackout those dates so other employees are not allowed to take off those dates.

5. It’s okay to say NO!

You do not have to accommodate every employees time off request. If you do have to turn them down, you can always offer alternative dates and work with them to fit their request into both of your schedules. This will help maintain a solid relationship between you and your employees.

Even with these tips, it can be tough to manage an influx of time off requests. Let PrimePay help. Our Time Clock system integrates with payroll, allowing for a seamless process come payday.