Summer is approaching. The days are longer. The sun is warmer. And everyone is looking forward to taking the seasonal staff leave. But for HR personnel, the time of year when moods are brightening brings another set of management headaches. With the right leave management software, the challenges of managing the outflow of staff can be met much more easily. These staff leave tips will help you manage the hectic workload.
The principal task is keeping rosters adequately populated at a time when everyone seems to want to take time off. And the complications are only made worse when employees are unsure of their remaining entitlements, want to split their time with a week here and long weekend there or send their request in at the last minute.
Even if you have the latest staff leave management software to rely upon, there are still plenty of problems to negotiate around. The result for HR is dozens of additional hours spent mulling over the finer details of individual contracts, extra consultation with departmental heads and team leaders, and the seemingly constant re-drafting of rosters to ensure staff leave can be granted without causing the ship to sink.
But how can you negotiate this logistical minefield and still keep the company cogs turning smoothly? Without a doubt, cloud-based annual leave management systems can help, but there are other ways to ensure the fewest bumps possible on the road.
We have put together a few tips that can help any HR department avoid a truly nightmarish scenario.
4 Simple Tips To Ease Your Staff Leave Headache
Communicate The Holiday Policy
It’s pretty obvious, but cannot be underestimated. Make sure every employee knows how your staff leave request policies work. It’s not just about which form to fill in, but also the schedule that exists, so including details like:
- How many weeks before the proposed time off must a request be submitted?
- What ‘days-at-a-time’ cap exists (most companies limit it to 10 working days or 2 weeks)?
- If granted or rejected, what further steps need to be taken?
When staff has this information, they almost always work with it when sending in their requests, reducing the stress you experience.
Adopt Some Flexibility
It is always possible that at the same time staff leave ensures personnel numbers are stretched, someone phones in sick. It generally creates chaos, but this is where adopting some dexterity in your planning can be so useful. Keep note of possible alternative arrangements so that, in the case of such scenarios, a change can be very quickly made. Planning is essential in managing a staff roster and creating a plan B or C is going to demand extra effort, but flexibility with rosters is always going to prove worthwhile. With the right cloud-based annual leave management system, you should be able to identify the most practical alternatives with the minimum level of searching.
Offer Some Flexibility
There are few things worse for HR than having to tell an employee they cannot take the time off they requested. But it can happen at very busy times when operating on a skeleton staff is simply not possible. Thankfully, most staff leave management software track key projects and red-flag requests when required team personnel numbers are too stretched already. But you can soften the blow if you can suggest dates that are open. Offering flexibility requires some careful planning, but the effort is worth it if you can avoid disgruntled staff.
Keep Staff Informed
Statistics show that a significant percentage of employees typically fail to use up their full allocation of leave days. While this might seem like good news for you, the reality is that these ‘forgotten’ days tend to linger in the air just waiting for someone to pipe up with a last-gasp application for staff leave. In fact, it’s best to keep staff up to date with their remaining days. Of course, with cloud-based annual leave management systems like AnnualLeave.com, that kind of data is calculated in real time, and employees can check on their entitlement balance at any time. But it’s worth confirming with an update email just before the booking season (say March or April).
Staying on top of employee leave requests, and the litany of complications they can create, is no easy task. But the tips above will certainly help you to take control of the situation – and most importantly, keep it!