This time of year always creates an interesting situation. For many companies it is their busiest time of the year; but at the same time, it’s the time of year many employees are putting in for time off. As a manager, what do you do? You want to create a balance of letting people make plans during the holidays while also making sure the things that have to get done, get done. Here are a few tips to help you create this balance.


Set Expectations and Be Transparent


As a manager, it is impossible to keep track of each individual’s holiday plan. If you tried to tell each employee when they can and can’t take time off, you’d drive yourself crazy. Instead, set reasonable expectations and be transparent. Let everyone know this is what has to be done by the end of year so plan your time off accordingly. From here your employees can work it out amongst themselves as far as who will cover what.


Don’t Expect Everyone to Want the Same Thing


It is important to remember that this time of year has a different meaning for everyone. Depending on tradition and religion, people celebrate different holidays; therefore, people are going to want off at various times. There is also the polar opposite where people don’t mind coming in during this time of year, some may even prefer it. For individuals who are ok coming in on days most prefer not to, it may be a good idea to offer a trade-off. For example, if an employee works Christmas then offer them time off in the future in exchange.


Be Human and Show You Care


Chances are with so many people requesting time off, you are going to have to deny a request or two to make sure things get done. It’s important during this time to not make this a “hard no” so to speak. Show that you don’t want to deny them this request but you simply have to. To show that you care, offer them something down the line in exchange. This can be an extra vacation day or two or perhaps when they come in during the holiday, it can be a half day. Indicate to them that you understand and wish you didn’t have to deny them their request.