Annual Leave and Capacity


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We were recently asked:

“If annual leave was to be increased by X for everyone, would we still be ok for capacity or would we need to hire to make sure we’re ok?”

Is there a simple way of looking at this or is it a case of increasing shrinkage and checking against future forecasts?

So we asked the question of our readers.  Here are all the answers that you need to know…

  • An Example of What We Have Done

    I don’t know how annual leaves work in your location but I will give you an example of what I’ve done in the past.

    Approach 1: I increased shrinkage equally every month for the % equivalent of the leave increase.
    Approach 2: I increased shrinkage for the months that I would normally have more annual leave requests
    Approach 3: I increased shrinkage based on the number of employees who have anniversary per month, as they would normally request them within the next month or so.

    As for the capacity, it all depends on your tolerance limits in regard to occupancy and service levels. It’s an interesting exercise and I suggest you run a few scenarios and present them to the stakeholders so they can make a decision.

    Thanks to Daniel

  • Uplift Shrinkage Whilst Looking at Shaping the AL Process

    Uplift shrinkage whilst looking at shaping the AL process, timings and budgets to create less work. It could possibly shave some off your absence line too.

    Thanks to Stephen

  • Depends on the Value Of X

    Surely it depends on the value of X?

    If it’s a small % increase that can be absorbed by shrinkage elsewhere ( as someone has stated, perhaps less absence) then no, but if it’s a significant % then you would need to unless currently overstaffed

    Thanks to Alun

  • Review Your Staffing Forecasts

    Review your staffing forecasts with uplifted shrinkage. The only thing I’d be cautious of is that employee demand rarely mirrors the allocation on offer. So, yes whilst it is theoretical to spread the additional annual leave throughout the year, what you don’t want is for low uptake in January–March for example, and then being faced with a higher proportion of hours left (and thus higher shrinkage) for the remainder of the year.

    Thanks to Scott

  • Nothing Is Static

    What I’ve learned is nothing is static. By that I mean you more than likely will have improved efficiencies this year or continue to work that way. Also if tenure is such that more tenure and more efficient and more cross-trained, then that should lessen burden. Is the leave use or lose or carry over? Most folks want to take time when you don’t want them to so you already face that issue…how will you handle with more time that can’t be used? Best wishes

    Thanks to Rick

  • Does Increased Holiday = Happier Employees

    You would hope that with increased holiday it would lead to happier employees who are more productive and maybe result in them taking less time off due to sickness.

    Thanks to Tina

Other articles on holidays

Published On: 4th Nov 2022
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