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June 30, 2017 at 11:30 am #7587
ACHR News has published an article on how U.S companies manage vacations during the summer months.
The article emphasises that summer time in the HVACR industry means “long hours of hard work in sometimes extreme conditions” and goes into detail about the age-old debate of whether HVACR industry employees should be taking time off during the summer months. The article contains interviews from the leaders of four HVACR companies.
Rich Imfield, President of IC Refrigeration in California, allows his employees to take time off during the summer however it comes with two conditions:
- Employees are only allowed to take one week off at a time, and
- If an employee takes a week off, no other employees can take off the week before or after his or her vacation.
The idea behind these conditions is to give the company a week fully staffed to catch up on work. The article also states that the vacation policy applies to all employees.
Wade Hamstra, Vice President of Hamstra Heating & Cooling, pointed out the double edged sword of limited time off during the summer months.
“On one end, the business and our clients need each and every employee working overtime in the summer months to keep up with demand. If an employee is on vacation, it has a direct impact on company revenues and customer service. However on the other side, we know from experience, if we push our staff to work 55 to 70 hours every week for 16 weeks straight, call outs, injuries, callbacks, and turnover go up while performance goes down.”
Hamstra also stated that he believes there is a happy medium somewhere and it might make more sense to force field staff to take a long weekend or two during the summer months to keep them fresh.
Hamstra Heating & Cooling doesn’t have a formal policy regarding time off during the summer months, however they require all employees to make vacation requests 30 days in advance, year round. The company also has an incentive for employees that if they are not absent during the second or third quarters of the year, they are entitled to an additional four days off.
Jason Stom, CEO of Clear the Air, allows his employees to take limited vacations during the summer to prevent burnout.
“We are a family owned business and we encourage employees to maintain a healthy work/life balance…Allowing employees to take time off during the busy season allows us to make sure employees are able to spend time with their families, are well rested, and enjoy working for our company. Ultimately, we have happier, more loyal employees with this policy.”
Despite this more open policy, the time off is also subject to conditions with each employee required to put in their request no later than two weeks prior, making arrangements for any on-call duties during their time off, and they can’t take more than three consecutive business days off between April and August.
Todd Kletz, owner of Classic Air’s One Hour Heating & Air Conditioning, also allows his employees to take vacations during the summer months to prevent burnout. Kletz stated that managers guarantee to approve or decline a request within 72 hours, and if they do decline they work with the team member towards alternative solutions. Kletz also stated that summer time off challenges can be worked through by opening the lines of communication with staff and that his employees are not limited to how much time off they can take at once.
All four companies provide their employees more time off, the longer they are with the company.
ACHR News’ article can be read in full here.
Do you allow your employees to take time off during the summer months? If do, do you impose conditions on the time off they can take? Do you also encourage employees to take time off during the winter months? Feel free to login and comment below.
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