Time off management got you down? Without a proper system in place, employee time off requests can quickly become a burden. Mismanagement of them may even be detrimental to your business.
In this blog post we'll cover why employee time off management is important and three tips you can use to become a time off management superstar. Let's get started!
Why Time Off Management Is Essential
First things first: why does time off management deserve your attention? Shouldn't your HR department discover ways to keep employees in the office more? In a word: no. This is true for multiple reasons.
One, the modern employee appreciates job perks (like vacation time) just as much as the wage they earn. A sure fire way to scare off the best talent is to handle time off requests poorly. Constantly denying time off and favoring certain employee time off requests over others is a disaster waiting to happen.
Plus, the research shows that time off actually improves employee productivity. When your team is well-rested and happy at work — two things a vacation is known to produce — they'll be much more likely to work harder, be more creative, and get more done.
3 Tips to Become a Time Off Management Superstar
Quality time off policies will help you attract and retain talent, and improve the performance of each of your company's employees. But managing that time off isn't always easy. These three tips will help you manage employee time-off requests like a rockstar.
1. Prioritize Employee Time Off
In order to properly manage employee time off requests, you have to first make time off management a priority. "Track employees' working hours by using an employee hour calculator and make sure they're getting enough time off. This may seem obvious — and it is — but, unfortunately, many companies still neglect to do it. Don't be one of those companies.
Be more like Moz, who not only gives its employees three weeks of paid vacation every year, but also $3,000 to spend on airfare, hotels, and other vacation related expenses. We're guessing their employee retention and satisfaction rates are through the roof with a policy like that!
Or take Spotify, the music streaming behemoth from Sweden. They allow their employees to switch out traditional vacation days for others of their own choosing. For example, an employee who decides to work on Christmas could trade that traditional day off for a day off in July instead.
Now your company doesn't need to implement these same policies. If you business is unable to pay employees to vacation, don't worry. The point is that both Moz and Spotify understand the value of letting their employees take time off and have developed policies and systems to manage time off requests effectively.
Your company should prioritize employee time off, too.
2. Set Clear Rules and Boundaries
Each of your employees should know and understand, preferably from the first day they start working for your business, what your company policies are regarding vacation time. Here are a few guidelines to follow when creating time off policies:
Time Off Allowance
First, it needs to be abundantly clear how much time off each employee is allowed to take, whether that time is paid or not, and how often your team can submit requests. Giving your workers two weeks off every year isn't a clear policy.
Giving them two weeks of paid vacation that they can use any time of the year except for March (because that's when your business is busiest) is very clear.
The Request Process
Employees also need to know how to submit time off requests. We recommend having one standard procedure that each member of your team must use. Then stick to it! Don't waver or make exceptions. Make it known that if an employee wants time off, they need to submit their requests in a specific way.
The procedure you choose — paper slips, time off app, etc. — is completely up to you. Just choose a system that compliments your workflow and roll with it.
Your Policy on Deadlines
Finally, you need to implement some kind of deadline for time off requests to be submitted. You can't have employees informing you the day before they leave for Aruba that they'll be gone for the next week and can you please approve the time off because they already bought the plane tickets and packed their suitcase?"
Make it a policy that employees must give you at least two weeks notice — barring any emergency — for time off to be approved.
3. Use the Right Time Off Management Tool
As we mentioned before, proper time off management, while essential, isn't always easy. That's why we recommend you use a software tool to help you streamline the process and keep every request, approval and accrual in line.
There are many options on the market including Time-Off Tracking by HR Cloud. This app allows employees to self-service their own vacation requests and report sick days from the comfort of their smartphones.
It makes life easier for you too and tracks of everything — who's in and who's out, which employees still have vacation time left, when Bob from accounting is finally taking that trip to Hawaii he's been talking about for months — and displays it in easy to consume, visual reports.
Time-Off Tracking by HR Cloud makes time off management a breeze!
Proper time off management is important. By not prioritizing it, you'll find that it's much harder to attract and retain top talent, and you'll drive yourself crazy wondering who's in the office and who's not.
So do yourself a favor and set a clear time off policy that defines how much vacation time each employee gets, when they can take that time, and how time off requests should be submitted. The stick to that policy.
And remember, a time off tracking app like Time-Off Tracking by HR Cloud will streamline this whole process and allow you to focus on more important things than approving vacation requests for each team member.