Taking time away from work plays an absolutely vital role in helping employees maintain a healthy work-life balance, as well as just giving them time to recharge their batteries and take some time to focus on mental and physical wellbeing. Conversely, just as it is important that organisations encourage their people to take time off, so too is it necessary for them to have a suitable framework in place to effectively keep on top of employee absence and holiday leave.
HR as a function is already seen as being swamped with far too many admin heavy tasks. When it comes to keeping track of holiday requests and absences, the last thing that people teams want to be dealing with is another huge load of disruptive checks and balances eating into their time.
In order to make the process of managing holiday leave as painless as possible, more and more organisations are leaning upon new systems and technology to help take the strain of annual leave admin. By investing in the digital transformation of the holiday booking process, businesses put the power in the hands of the employee, offering them self service functionality to take charge of leave requests and allowing them complete visibility of leave allowance. An effective absence management system also makes approving or rejecting holiday requests a breeze, meaning your HR teams spend less of the working week bogged down by admin heavy tasks.
Investing in an employee absence management solution will play a key part in helping businesses effectively free and leverage the talents of their HR teams. However, understanding the need for a solution is only one piece of the puzzle. The search for a new solution can often seem daunting, with a range of options and different functionalities making it all too easy to have your head turned. We wanted to do away with some of the mystery around the search for an effective holiday management system and to help point you towards some of the key factors you should be looking for in order to help make the process of handling staff absence a breeze.
What to look for in holiday management software
Annual leave is a key benefit for all employees. The ability to step away from the workplace for a week or two and recharge your batteries is vitally important in order to ensure people can remain engaged and productive.
Furthermore, in the post-pandemic world, more and more employees are looking for a greater emphasis on work-life balance, particularly with regards to employee benefits. Annual leave represents one of the best ways that organisations can reward their people for their hard work.
Any holiday management software above anything else must achieve the goal of simplifying the absence management process. By offering a degree of self-service functionality, you give your employees the freedom to take charge of their leave requests and importantly, allow them visibility of their remaining allowance, negating the need for them to bombard your HR team with requests around the status of pending requests ETC. digitising and simplifying the leave booking process also allows HR teams the ability to approve or deny requests with the touch of a button, or even make the process more granular in nature, with team leaders or shift running managers taking charge of requests for their people.
One of the other key factors to look for in a holiday management solution is how effectively it meshes with the other systems and processes you utilise in the day to day running of your business. The most effective systems are modular in nature, slotting in and working seamlessly alongside other aspects of the HCM suite such as payroll and your HR systems. Even at a basic level, you want to prioritise a solution which syncs up with work diaries such as Outlook calendars as this reduces the risk of creating conflicts with the scheduling of holidays.
Ensuring a smooth sense of business continuity even when employees take a well-deserved break is just as important in the absence management process. An effective holiday management solution should give you access to a full suite of reports, allowing you to make more effective management decisions regarding absences.
As with many areas of the HCM function, absence management brings with it a lot of documentation which must be kept on top of. Your systems and technology should work in lockstep with your people teams, collating all relevant paperwork in a centralised, easy to access location.
Key features of holiday management software
It’s clear that digital transformation of your absence management policy will be key in freeing your HR teams and allowing you to leverage their talents in more business critical areas. Understanding the need for a sympathetic system is one thing- knowing what to look for in terms of functionality is quite another.
So what key features should you look for in a holiday management system?
- Self service functionality- Any system worth its salt will do its part to reduce the amount of admin faced by your HR teams regarding absences. Allow your people the use of self service platforms such as mobile apps, in order to take charge of their schedules and to manage their own leave requests. Self service functionality can also be folded into other areas of the HCM function, allowing employees access to relevant information to them such as rotas, payslips and holiday allowances.
- Crafting a leave policy that works for you- An effective holiday management system furnishes your organisation with the information you need in order to craft an absence policy which benefits everyone within your business. Draw upon data gathered to clearly define the rules of an absence policy, taking into account holiday calculations, work schedules, proration of allowances and any other factors you need to ensure business continuity when your staff take a well-deserved break.
- Greater payroll accuracy- The best systems don’t work in a vacuum and this is no more apparent than within the HCM function. Accuracy within the holiday management process means fewer errors calculating leave allowances for employees which ultimately means a more accurate payroll cycle month after month.
- Keep a tab on unscheduled absences- It’s pretty self explanatory that businesses which have a good handle on the planned leave of their employees, are better placed to identify and deal with instances of unplanned absence. An effective solution should provide you with the metrics which you need to drive conversations around unexpected leave and to ensure that you are never caught off guard. Look into how your system can effectively mesh with your attendance solutions such as biometric clocking devices, in order to ensure seamless continuity between processes.
- Intuitive dashboards and reporting- Given the amount of data capture that comes with absence management, it’s only right that the systems you use are able to provide you with detailed and tailored reports in order to help inform the decision making process of your HR teams. Automation within absence management will be an undeniable boon for businesses that want to eliminate manual efforts for their people teams.
Staff leave management software
An important element to consider is how transformation of your systems and processes can enhance the whole process of staff leave management within your organisation.
As we’ve touched upon briefly, the responsibility of absence management traditionally falls at the feet of business leaders and HR teams. The typical pitfalls around monitoring sickness absences normally come about as a result of systems and processes being seen as draconian and designed solely to punish or micro manage employees. This means that valuable data is unavailable to people teams and prolonged sickness leads to organisations haemorrhaging money needlessly. It is also important to use the staff leave management software to support your return to work program.
CIPD have found that companies with the greatest success in introducing absence management strategies are those in which business leaders and HR professionals act as role models and actively champion initiatives around health and wellbeing. In short, this means that absence management should be folded into wider discussions around employee wellbeing and used as a tool to ensure employees remain happy, engaged and comfortable with work, rather than being foremost, a system seeking to punish people.
Having an overview of sickness absence within your workplace allows you a greater level of appreciation of the contributing factors and the conditions that lead to people taking time off in your workplace. This information is invaluable in readjusting your workplace strategies as well as allowing you to develop and communicate policy around sick leave.
You would be hard pressed to find any business leaders who would disagree that a healthy and happy workforce is more productive. Absence management tools are designed first and foremost to facilitate a supportive working environment, not to punish people when they understandably need time away from work, but in order to make sure that their employers are never left in the dark about their needs and able to support them whenever they need.
How Cloud-HR can help
At Advanced, we believe in the power of technology to help your organisation achieve more. We also appreciate that absence management brings with it a huge degree of admin which easily has the potential to derail your HR teams.
Our Cloud-HR software solution, alongside our full suite of HCM solutions, has been designed to help ease the burden of manual processes and largely admin based tasks which plague absence management. We feel that by offering a single platform solution to handle all elements of the HCM function. Cloud HR alongside our market leading time and attendance functionality, can offer you a comprehensive overview of absence patterns- unplanned or otherwise- within your workplace.
Cloud HR allows you access to the data and the metrics you need to effectively drive conversations around absence within your organisation. Our unmatched self service functionality also puts the power in the hands of your people to take charge of their leave requests and schedules, freeing your HR teams from monotonous tasks.
The way you utilise the data you collate is just as important, which is why Cloud HR is designed to feed into every aspect of the HCM process, ensuring accuracy from a scheduling and payroll perspective. We believe that systems are stronger when working together, which is why our HCM suite is designed to operate as a seamless, single platform, offering you matchless oversight and functionality across the HCM function.