With a tight-knit team, it might feel right to fly by the seat of your pants and grant time off as requested without a second thought. After all, your employees are a vital part of your auto repair shop, and it’s important to keep them happy. While that’s true, letting your time off policy and procedure run willy nilly can prove detrimental to your shop’s success. Fortunately, you can fix that quite easily by simply writing down your policies and having everyone follow your procedures. Here’s what you need to know.
Why You Need a Well-Written Time Off Policy And Procedure
With the right time-off policy and procedures, you set the terms of all time-off requests, so you can best balance the needs of your employees and your shop. Although you likely want to approve all time-off requests as they come in, that’s not always possible.
You have to compare the current workload to your available staffing, after all, ensuring that you can get all the work done on time. Otherwise, you could end up understaffed at key moments or unable to approve requests for time off to handle significant matters.
To avoid all that, you can easily create a time off request process for your employees to follow, so you can always stay on top of the scheduling. Then, you have to write the procedure in your employee handbook for everyone to follow.
Create a Time Off Request Process for Your Auto Repair Shop
To create your time off policy and procedure, follow these steps.
1. Get a Calendar to Track Employee Time Off
Get a calendar that you will only use to track the approved time-off requests for your employees. You can use either a paper or digital calendar, as long as you restrict changes to the person in charge of the time off requests.
2. Put Someone in Charge of the Calendar
Put either yourself or a manager in charge of managing the calendar used to track employee time off. The person in charge of the calendar will also be the one to approve or deny the requests directly.
3. Have Employees Submit Written Requests
Establish a strict procedure on how employees should submit their time off requests. Ideally, they will write down their requested days off using a supplied form that you can put in their file. Beyond that, let them know how far ahead to submit their requests, barring emergencies, of course.
4. Approve or Deny the Time Off Requests
Once your employees submit their requests, the person in charge of the calendar will need to decide. They should look at the current workload of the shop and determine if the remaining staff can handle the upcoming tasks.
5. Notify the Employee About the Decision
If it’s possible to reallocate the employee’s work, they should approve the request and then let the employee know and write it on the calendar. If not, they’ll want to deny the request and see if the employee can make other arrangements.
6. Let Your Team Know About the Absence
In addition to writing the approved time off on the calendar, you should also let the team know about the employee’s upcoming absence. That way, they will know that there’s likely no additional room for other team members to take time off during that period.
7. Hold a Team Meeting One Week in Advance
One week before the employee takes their time off, you should hold a meeting with the crew. As you come together to discuss the absence, everyone can get on the same page on what work they need to take on while their team member is away.
To ensure that everyone follows these steps even while you’re away from your auto repair shop, make sure to write them down in full and put them in your employee handbook. With that move, you ensure that your shop runs as expected at all times and everyone gets treated the same.
Need Help Creating a Time-Off Policy And Procedure?
If you’d like help creating an effective yet fair time-off policy and procedure, look to your auto repair coach, Chris Cotton at AutoFix Auto Shop Coaching, for assistance. We make it easy to get the support you need with a quick call to 940-400-1008 or fill out our online form. Once you get started, you’ll learn all the tips and tricks required to accelerate your shop’s success. Be sure to ask about our standard boilerplate policies and procedures during your call so that you can get your auto repair shop into shape fast.