Productivity | How do the Easter holidays impact decision-making?

How do the Easter holidays impact decision-making?

Each year, the school Easter holidays fall on different dates but on this occasion, the holidays are running between April 8th and April 22nd 2019.

While this period may be a great opportunity for working parents to spend some quality time with their children, it can cause problems for HR if numerous employees from the same department are on annual leave at the same time.

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And this may make it difficult for some jobs to get done, particularly if these roles are held by specific employees who happen to be off. While this may be the case, it is crucial that HR get organised to ensure that business continues like normal and staff handovers are smooth.

Kathryn Kendall, Chief People Officer at Benefex exclusively told HR Grapevine that, like with any peak holiday period, employers need to ensure that business is not impacted by having more employees than usual booking annual leave simultaneously.

She explained: “There is a danger, due to employees wanting to take advantage of the Easter bank holiday weekend, not to mention those who need to take time off to cover childcare during the school holidays, that key decision makers are simultaneously out of the business and therefore decision-making is stifled by the resulting bottlenecks.”

To avoid decision-making from holding back business progress, Kendall told HR Grapevine that HR should take a more ‘proactive’ and ‘robust’ approach to managing annual leave over peak holiday periods. She urged HR to work “closely with heads of departments and line managers to ensure that quality of service provision is maintained.

“Where handled correctly, peak holiday periods can provide a great development opportunity for team leaders and more junior employees to step-up and take on decision-making responsibilities in the absence of managers.”

In preparation leading up to peak periods of annual leave, Kendall said that having a structured approach in place is crucial to promoting autonomy and to ensure that key festive periods “don’t come as a surprise to the business”.

She added: “HR can ensure that the organisation not only maintains service levels but at the same time helps to upskill and better engage employees throughout the decision-making chain as a result.”

While some employees will be taking advantage of the four-day bank holiday weekend, there are some companies which will remain open for business. For this reason, it is important to keep spirit levels high for those employees having to work to ensure that productivity doesn’t slip.

HR Grapevine has collated three tips to keep employees motivated this bank holiday:


For staff working in the retail, sales or hospitality sector, incentivise their targets. This acts as a win-win for both sides and most importantly, employees will feel satisfied at work. If they meet their target, perhaps gift them a voucher or a token present to show your appreciation.

Create a fun, friendly atmosphere

Perhaps relaxing the dress code, or playing music in the office (if appropriate) might be a good way to help employees enjoy their shift while getting the job done.

Plan ahead

If the bank holiday weekend is likely to be busy, ensure that the shift is properly staffed. Employees will only feel irritated if they are understaffed and rushed off their feet, particularly if management knew the period would be busy in advance.

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