According to Qantas CEO Alan Joyce, the travel industry is expected to see a significant increase in international travel in 2022 and could triple due to 'pent up demand'. This has been the best news for Qantas in two years since the pandemic struck the globe, being able to bring back 22,000 employees to work in the first week of December 2021.
But are employers ready for the pent-up travel demand?
The question on everyone's mind is whether or not businesses are prepared for employees to take annual leave for those who are itching to get back on the road.
While many employees have faced limitations to travelling due to covid restrictions, there is no doubt that the pent-up demand for time off will cause a resurgence in holiday travel in the coming year.
So, what can businesses do to prepare themselves? In this blog, we share 3 tips for employers preparing for the pent-up travel demand.
Tip #1 - Start with a Policy and set firm Guidelines
Set firm guidelines in your company's annual leave policy. An annual leave policy sets out the company's rules around employees' annual leave and holiday entitlements. It should highlight all aspects of leave, including any restrictions of when employees can or can't request leave, how much notice needs to be given, how they should request leave and the amount of leave an employee can take. A well-established annual leave policy allows employees to know what their legally entitled to and the rules for taking annual leave. This also lets the employer manage annual leave reasonably.
Organisations also need to set firm guidelines for fostering a flexible work environment and establish procedures for treating remote workers. These guidelines are necessary for any company wanting to incorporate remote work flexibility into its policies. It sets the tone and provides clear expectations about what is expected from employees in a traditional office setting and those working remotely.
Tip #2 - Prepare for Staff Absence
To make sure that things run smoothly while an employee is on annual leave, senior staff & employers need to set clear expectations for what will happen in their absence. To ensure that employees can cover for each other when they're on leave, employers should get a detailed list of their daily tasks and give instructions on how these responsibilities should be carried out. This may include providing training sessions ahead of time to cross-train employees or even creating an instruction manual that will help guide them to prevent any problems in the other employee's absence. This will increase efficiency and allow employees to collaborate while improving workforce sustainability.
Tip #3 - Offer a Leave Incentive
An incentive program within an organisation can offer many benefits, from boosting productivity to creating a positive brand image – employers can use incentive tools for encouragement and motivation for their employees. Employers can offer a leave incentive to encourage workers to take shorter holidays or to take them over a convenient period. For example, employers could add an extra vacation day to their employees' benefits packages for the year or offer an additional five paid vacation days to any employee who delays their vacations.
To get ahead of the curve, organisations need to develop a strategic plan that offers flexibility in order to cater to employees' needs. Use these 3 tips outlined above to prepare for the anticipated increase in travel demand.