HR Management··4 min read

Managing Leave and Morale in the Summer Office

How to deal with leave management and low morale in the office during the summer

Summer is warmly welcomed by many. For others though, it can be a real bother being stuck inside an office all day. Nobody wants more than to be out and about soaking up the sun. Consequently, this means office managers have to deal with an ensuing headache that comes with an influx of leave requests. Of course, we aren’t miracle workers, it’s impossible to keep everyone happy and satisfy their requests to the fullest. So come the summer blues, low morale within the office. Here in this article, you’ll find a few pointers to help you manage to leave request applications and some advice on how to offset the backlash that comes from uninspired workmates.

It is important to identify low-morale as early as possible.

One indication is an increased level of absence in the workplace due to illness or requests for time-off for different reasons. Longer-lunch breaks and lateness also need to watch out for early on.

Any decent employers would encourage their workers to take time off.

This rest time gives them a break and a chance to return to the job refreshed. With that being said, it isn’t always easy finding that sweet spot between the work-life balance. Many offices will find it a hassle to keep staff numbers up in the office during this time.

Encourage your staff by setting an example and if they see you are slacking off at work, they are likely to follow suit.

If you are motivated and excited to achieve your business goals, this will wash off onto those around you, inspiring them in kind.

Conflicts are bound to occur when scheduling time-off.

Megan the event s manager wants to go with her sister down to the bay for two weeks, even though its peak season for wedding receptions. At the same time, the two chefs Blake and Hayden want time to go see their favourite band play in the next city over, leaving kitchen staff shorthanded. How can we ensure each employee gets their fair share of time off?

One of the first things you can do is to create an annual leave policy.

This sets in stone exactly what you and your employees can expect when it comes to taking time-off, ensuring that your program can be communicated and understood effectively by all your employees.

Every employee should be entitled to leave.

This should be made clear to others, so make sure whatever entitlements your business is offering is recorded. The end of financial year period, operation during bank holidays, and whether or not full-time employees all get the same amount of time off during the year, are all things to consider when setting out your policy. Additional things may need to be accounted for, so make sure to check the legislation on employee requirements in your local area. This policy can then be voiced during the hiring and orientation process so that new workers won’t feel so let down when they get turned down after asking for a holiday break after asking for the fifth time this year.

It is also necessary to keep up a healthy level of verbal communication with your employees in the office, not just in regard to leave policy.

To understand what is going on at every level, you have got to keep your finger on the pulse of the business. Speaking face to face with your staff ensures that their efforts and opinions are valued. Sitting down to write a well thought out email is all well and good, but don’t neglect a quick walk around to chat with your colleagues for being stuck inside your office all day.

In case you haven’t gotten an annual leave policy written out yet, there is always tried and true ‘First-come-first served’ rule to fall back on. This is a great one to use, yet others may start to show attitude if their colleague always manages to get the main weeks of the holiday off. This may be displayed through hostility, bitterness, or simply a reluctance to do their job to a satisfactory level.

In this case, empower your employees by giving them a little bit off lean way when it comes to authority and decision making. They are, after all, the ones on the front line who are getting much more hands-on with what goes on rather than the managers cooped up in their cozy offices.

When trying to motivate staff, money isn’t really the one and only thing to do so.

Extra incentives for those with the commitment to work through a holiday deserve to be rewarded, and it doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg. Sweets, flowers, gift cards, these are all ways to let staff know you appreciate their help.

Although it’s highly unlikely you will be able to meet every holiday request, low employee morale is not impossible to cure. Plan ahead to develop a happier, more productive workplace, and avoid those summer headaches.

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