Holiday bookings: Fuelling a covert workplace war?

20th Jan 2016

Were you aware that each year a covert workplace war around holiday bookings could be happening right under your very nose? The arrival of 2016 has granted all parties in this conflict a level playing field to kick it all off again thus forcing some to keep their holiday plans a secret for fear of sabotage!

Holiday bookings have long been a source of tension in the workplace. Quality down time is undoubtedly enormously important in keeping staff fresh and motivated throughout the year. That being said many employers fail to understand the negative impact poor holiday planning can have on cohesion, team relations and performance. Competition around Bank Holidays and key school holidays is all part of the game; with clearly delineated rules in place can you ensure that nobody plays dirty.

You’ll know your system needs updating if staff are frequently asking how to book holiday. If this is the case, the process simply isn’t clear enough. Without a transparent and accessible process staff could even be put off from taking their annual leave entitlement storing up problems for later on in the year. Staff may also seek to book holiday via non-official means, for instance verbally from a manager or via an informal email that gets lost in the melee of a busy inbox. Really, how many administrative headaches do you want to create for yourself?  

In most cases double bookings can be put down to mere coincidence although some are undoubtedly acts of spite or even vengeance according to research, serving to "sour relations" between team members. In one study one in ten office workers declared holiday bookings to be their biggest cause of conflict in the office. Almost unbelievably one in twenty actually admitted to taking a colleague’s desired holiday dates just to cause annoyance! Conflict breeds conflict. Before you know it your workplace culture you strove to nurture will deteriorate and your team may fragment and ultimately fall apart.

So what's the solution?  Much simpler than you might imagine. Taking your processes and making it digital sounds complicated but with a bit of easy homework it’s not and you'll be doing your staff and yourself a favour. Adopting this approach has already saved customers who use The HR Dept Toolkit from countless holiday headaches. Your employees will be able to send you their holiday requests from wherever they are using the system. You’ll receive their request and have the ability to approve or deny (and have the decency to explain why) it instantly. A simple glance at the online holiday chart and your staff will be able to see exactly when to, and not to, request their time off.  Headache gone and more time to plan your own holiday.

Ditch the paperwork, free up some wall space and put a clear process in place with The HR Dept Toolkit! If you’d like to demo the software, please click here

For practical hands on support regarding holiday and cover management, just give get in touch with The HR Dept.


Really useful information above, we currently have an electronic system for booking leave, however it doesn't give a manager an instant spreadsheet to see how many staff could potentially be off at the same time. Could you advise if as an organisation we could implement a system where leave had to be taken pro rata every quarter to avoid staff building it to the end and then asking for it to be carried over, despite several reminders that leave cannot be carried over except in exceptional circumstances>

Show me how it's done Pete!!! Sounds like it'll remove a headache

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