We asked Pest Management Professional’s columnists and editorial advisory board members to tips for vacations for you and your employees. Here are some of the experts’ responses from our June 2022 print edition.
Please take a minute to answer our latest one-question poll on this topic and let us know how you promote disinfecting and sanitizing services: Reader poll: What’s a good tip when it comes to vacations for you and your employees?
PMP’s Editorial Advisory Board and Regular Contributors
Dan Baldwin, BCE, CCFS, CP-FS: “I have no idea. I haven’t had a vacation since 1992.”
Greg Baumann: “Do not encourage employees to skip time off. It is so important for their health and attitude, and time off recharges employees so that they are productive, engaged and excited about their careers.”
Jerry Schappert, ACE: “It’s a great time for a manager or owner to do that week’s worth of work and see first-hand the work being done, as quality assurance. Plus, said manager/owner might see whether the office is overloading the technician.”
Dr. Hamilton Allen, BCE: “Managers should have a practical employee vacation plan in place at the beginning of the year. Proper planning, combined with consistent discussion with employees, helps the branch avoid staffing hiccups during the busy season and ideal vacation periods. Proper planning also benefits employees. We encourage employees to discuss plans with team members. Transparency and communication provide employees the chance to forecast route completion and share incentive opportunities.”
Michael Broder: “As a service company, we can’t have too many employees off at same time. Have a maximum number of employees allowed to be off simultaneously, and the first to ask for vacation dates gets them.”
Foster Brusca: “Many employees may feel they have to justify why they are requesting a day off, whether it’s for vacation or an appointment. Remind your employees that it’s their time to use as they wish. As an owner, lead by example and take your own time off. This will show employees that work-life balance is a priority and time away supports that effort. Let your employees know that sometimes work can wait and that it certainly will be there when they return. Remind them that an individual only can be as good to the company as they are to themselves.”
Doug Foster: “Make your people — including yourself — take them. Whether they have earned one week or four weeks, make them use their vacation time. It’s so easy to burn folks out in our business, and everyone needs a break to recharge and hit the ‘reset’ button. Their families will thank you, too.”
Dr. Faith Oi: “Just let me know in advance. Vacation cannot be taken if events already are on the calendar; the exception is if the person found someone with equal competence to cover his or her duties. I consider vacation and leave to be different: Always be flexible if someone needs leave for, say, a family medical emergency.”
Kurt Scherzinger, ACE: “When it comes to vacations for you and your employees, the best advice is to encourage it for your employees and don’t put it off for yourself. Everyone needs a ‘mental health’ break.”
Eric Scherzinger: “Have fun, but remember just because something is legal somewhere else doesn’t mean it is legal here and won’t show up on a drug test if you get in an accident on the job.”
Desiree Straubinger, BCE: “Planning ahead is the key for everyone to have an enjoyable time during a vacation. If tasks and responsibilities are covered and explained in detail for the covering employee, it will be less stressful for those who are covering and also for the employee on vacation.