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Sample script: Don't be a Scrooge with time-off requests
How to handle the time-off talk.
As the holidays approach, many employees will ask for vacation time. Unless the practice closes on certain days, though, not everyone will get their wish. This poses a challenge for both managers and team members, says Josette Svitter, practice manager at the Kettle Moraine Veterinary Clinic in Plymouth, Wisc. What's the solution? "Each individual should try to be cognizant of who had off last year," Svitter says. "And they should try to give as much advance notice as possible." Here's how Svitter recommends bosses and their colleagues handle the time-off talk.
Team member: I see the vacation schedule is filling up fast. I'd like to arrange a few days off.
Office manager: Write down the dates you'd like off and date the paper. I'll try to accommodate your needs, but if we have multiple requests for the same days, I may ask you to switch. Scheduling too few team members at any one time might prevent us from operating efficiently.
Team member: I'm really hoping to take off the day before Christmas Eve. But I wouldn't want to put the practice in jeopardy.
Office manager: I understand. Carol and Rhonda would also like that day off. They submitted their requests first and they haven't asked in the past. Therefore, I'm going to give them the time off and likely won't be able to do the same for you.
Team member: If I ask Carol or Rhonda to take a different day off, could I take the time?
Office manager: If either one agrees, that's fine. But please make sure I'm aware of your agreement so I know who to expect in the practice.