Managing team shortages this holiday season

Commercial cleaning tips

Posted / 14th June 2019

Holiday requests can be a major worry for business owners if they do not have the right systems in place to control it. Ensuring it is managed correctly is paramount. If it is not, it can prevent your business from delivering what it needs for its clients. It can also cause conflict amongst employees. There will be an influx of requests for holiday season, but just remember this is not all year round.

There are tips you can follow to manage holiday requests from your teams.


Give plenty of notice 

Explain to your employees it is best to give as much notice as possible if they should require holiday time off. This helps you, the business owner, to arrange cover for their shifts and build the rota accordingly. Setting a request deadline can help with this – for example ‘all annual leave requests must be made one month in advance’


First come first served 

If you have a large work force, adapt a ‘first come first served’ policy. This means only a certain amount of employees who require certain holidays can do so. The sooner they request this time off the better. Should an employee be too late , they will be refused their requested dates. Take the time to explain why. See more on how to use technology to free up your precious time.


Keeping part time/flexi staff on standby 

Having cover for the staff that are on holidays is really important. Sometimes your existing employees are unable to do this as they have their own shifts to work through. So it can be a great strategy to have flexible staff on standby for busy times, including holiday cover and seasonal work. This means you are not taking other members of staff away from their existing duties.  Having standby staff cross trained on a few sites is really helpful, particularly in the summer period. This is usually when the bulk of annual leave is taken.

Learn more about recruiting cleaning staff


Adapt a holiday blackout period 

In any business there are busy times of the year. For example here in Europe in August schools are preparing to re-open after the summer holidays. So you could adapt a blackout period for the last two weeks of August. This would mean no employees are able to request holiday time off in this period while there is so many additional work requests in. This must be stated well in advance and preferably on their employment contract to avoid confusion. If this is an important holiday request, it can be decided at the manager’s discretion.


Flexibility among staff 

If you have a large work force you can enable employees to change shifts with each other if and when it suits. This usually works well but must be cleared with a supervisor or manager before it is confirmed.  A great app for managing team communication and shift leave is