Balancing Time-Off Requests

October 6, 2017


It’s that time of year again! No, we’re not talking about pumpkin spice lattes and flu vaccines (though both are very important). It’s time-off request season. That special time of year when your desk is littered with time-off requests all for the same days centered around Thanksgiving and Christmas. It’s up to you to decide who deserves November 21st off more: the bachelor who has been planning his epic Vegas trip for months and has already booked plane tickets and hotel rooms, or the mom whose kids are out of school, and finding someone to watch them while she is at work is going to cost her a second mortgage on her home?

This scenario is a stressful for any manager or business owner. There are several steps you can take for a smooth holiday crunch time at your practice.

1. Communicate Company Time-Off Request Policies Early and Often.

Let your employees know that if they have accrued time off, they have every right to use it; however, time-off requests must be made in a timely manner. If you have a two week notice policy, consider lengthening that policy to 30 days for peak request times like November and December.

2. Implement a reward program.

Incentivize employees to work during peak holiday times. Even small rewards like free company lunch or Starbucks gift cards go a long way toward keeping people at work.

3. Don’t resolve time-off requests in silo.

You want all parties involved to fear heard and validated. If there are two employees requesting the same day off, and you can only afford to lose one, bring them both into a room to come up with a solution. Mike has already scheduled his flight, perhaps it is leaving in the afternoon and he can work in the morning. Susan can spend the morning looking after her kids, and bring them to the office in the afternoon with a portable DVD player and plenty of snacks. If both parties feel their needs are equally validated, they are much more willing to come up with a compromise.

4. Be flexible.

Employees are willing to be flexible with employers who are flexible with them. If employees are allowed to trade shifts or to make up hours, they are more willing to put in the effort for a last-minute crunch.

Your employees need a little time off from the daily grind. Don’t forget physicians need some time for rest and relaxation too. If data entry into the EMR is getting in the way of hours spend with your family, contact one of our representatives today. We can show you how our technology-driven solutions can give you more time to care.