The new year is a time of new beginnings for companies – often new marketing and sales strategies come into force, and your staff may be starting a new holiday year as well. But rather than just resetting their leave entitlement, this is the ideal moment to look at how well your leave approval processes are functioning, as they could benefit from an overhaul in 2020.
To help you coordinate staff holiday requests as effectively as possible in the year ahead, we’ve put together some top tips for planning your company holiday calendar – all of which are surprisingly easy to implement, if you have the right leave management software.
Make sure holiday policies are clearly communicated (and enforced)
It’s easy for staff to forget how much leave they’re entitled to, how far in advance holiday requests must be made, and who needs to approve each leave submission. The start of a new holiday year is a good time to remind people of your policies, to avoid confusion in future.
It is also important that management and HR teams stick to these policies during the year, to avoid one rule for some staff and another rule for others. If you’re managing the holiday calendar manually via spreadsheets and email, it’s hard to implement structured processes. You might therefore want to consider investing in some cost-effective leave management software, where automatic guidelines and limitations can be applied to all requests.
Give staff greater visibility over the holiday calendar
One of the biggest challenges that companies face when managing annual leave is calendar conflicts between important team members. Often, two people can book the same dates off, and it isn’t discovered until the last moment – or even worse, when neither of them turn up to work.
Giving staff greater visibility over the holiday calendar enables people to make informed decisions over when to book leave, avoiding time that has already been requested by their colleagues. This level of transparency can be difficult to achieve with a manual holiday calendar; an online system for managing leave is a much more effective way of ensuring that everyone is working from the same, accurate information.
Speed up leave approval processes
Professionals have enough paperwork to contend with, without adding holiday requests to the pile. If you’re still using a manual system, it’s easy for holiday forms to get lost in an in-tray, resulting in frustrated employees bothering their managers for a response.
In 2020, consider upgrading to an online leave management system that digitally processes all holiday requests. As well as being a much more sustainable approach to business admin, it ensures that relevant managerial and HR staff are notified as soon as a new request requires approval. Team members are then automatically updated when that request is approved, cutting down on follow-up communications.
Integrate external meetings and sick leave into the holiday calendar
Planning the holiday calendar effectively means understanding exactly who’s off at any point in time, and annual leave is not the only reason that people aren’t in the office.
In order to make truly accurate decisions about whether someone can book time off, companies need to understand who is already out of the office on business matters, by recording when external meetings are happening. Market-leading leave management software also enables staff to log sick leave, so you can factor in periods where employee illness rates tend to be high, before deciding if it’s appropriate for team members to take a vacation.
Let leave management technology shoulder the admin burden
We’ve mentioned the benefit of investing in online leave management software several times already, and that’s for a reason. Channelling all communications through a digital platform is the quickest and simplest way to cut down the administrative burden that managing the holiday calendar places on your business, and ensure leave requests are managed accurately, efficiently and effectively.
Holiday planning technology doesn’t have to cost the Earth, either; solutions like WhosOff are surprisingly cost-effective, especially when you factor in the more valuable activities your team members can work on when they’re not busy chasing up holiday requests or filing paperwork.
Improve your holiday calendar in 2020 with WhosOff leave management software. Try WhosOff for free to see how our technology can benefit your business.
Photo by Christina Morillo of Pexels.com
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Posted by Tony Bushell
on Tuesday, 17th December 2019
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