As we pass the opening weekend of beaches, pools and BBQ’s, it’s time to start planning for the summer. In Talent Acquisition, we see a huge influx of PTO time requests for the summer months. Parents want to take their kids on vacation, families want to come and visit; and the pull of the sun and the fun of summer entices us all to want to take a little time off. We know it’s coming but the question is – how do we make sure that we are prepared for the PTO time and how do we make sure that everyone has a plan to have their work covered?
First things first – meet with your teams. Ask them to request their time as soon as possible if they are planning take time off this summer. The more notice your employees can give you, the easier it will be to give your employees what they are asking for. Happy employees are important and PTO is VERY important to your employees! Giving your team a chance to get away and take a break to do the things they love and enjoy will help them feel energized and productive when they return.
Talk about what is expected. This concerns not just your employees that are using PTO, but the employees that are covering for others as well. Make it clear what is expected of team when they are out of the office and what they will need to do before taking PTO. For example, you may need user names and passwords, customer contact information and any hot spots that need to be touched daily. It’s also important to know where they have left off with any projects or assignments so there are no laps in work and there’s a smooth transition for the person covering. In my office, we can meet up to three times to talk about covering PTO depending on the length of time that is being covered.
Inform the people that will be affected. Putting up an out of office is great for those everyday emails but what about everyone else? It’s important to have your team put some time into connecting with their customers and clients to let them know ahead of time they will be out of the office and who they can connect with in their absence. I can tell you every time I do this my customers are appreciative and feel secure knowing I am leaving them in good hands. With that being said, make sure to let your internal team know that they may be affected as well. For example, if my admin is going to be out I let the team know they are going to need to pick up the phone more often.
Always have a backup plan. This one is self-explanatory. Things come up that you don’t expect, so always have a secondary plan just in case! I know I have been grateful to have a plan B when plan A just wasn’t working or unexpected things came up.
Try using a few of these tips over the upcoming weeks to ensure a smooth, relaxful summer. By planning ahead and keeping everyone informed of upcoming PTO plans for the summer you’ll keep the ball rolling in the office and avoid any frustration within your team.
By Lindsey Roundtree | People Science Client Service Manager