Leave management falls into a category of business processes that is primarily about the employee and not the business. Efficiency, for example, is a secondary concern. Of higher priority are regulatory compliance, consistency with the organization’s cultural values and employee morale. As a result, granting and tracking leave often lack the internal controls that otherwise govern an organization’s operations.
This can be self-defeating, though. FMLA (Family and Medical Leave Act) time-off is notoriously exacting in its requirements. If you violate provisions, dealing with the consequences probably does not rate among your fondest work memories. A manager failing to grant leave for an employee honeymoon becomes the talk of the breakroom. And how satisfied can an employee be who sees his leave balance drop to zero at the start of the new year after volunteering to come in over the holidays?
Managing leave with rigor should be a win for both employer and employee. Businesses have a huge stake in minimizing workforce imbalances. An atomized system of leave approval where supervisors make decisions primarily on the basis of not wanting to disappoint their subordinates inevitably leads to crises. How happy are the employees who are left to deal the ensuing mess? It is in nobody’s broader interest to under-manage leave.
Managing leave with rigor should be a win for both employer and employee.
So how do you manage it? This is a big question that depends on the nature of your business. Today, though, for an operation of more than a few people, automation is fundamental. Your leave management software needs to accommodate the full range of situations your employees face so that balances are accurate and have the full confidence of the organization. That means that accruals and use must be meticulously tracked and that includes all of the “one-off” deals with particular employees that tend to accumulate in pre- (and under-) automated environments.
When you have a solid foundation of data, the next step is coordination, bringing the data together into views of scheduled leave that can predict manpower levels. Supervisors can then incorporate operational impacts into their decision-making. This helps the business of course, but it also enables the supervisor to justify a denial on a basis that the employee can hopefully learn to respect.
An automated leave system is most powerful when integrated with the time entry process. In DATABASICS, for example, employees not only enter leave as they consume it, but they can request approvals and see balances with scheduled and unscheduled hours. Approvers can assess potential impacts before making leave request decisions, and even facility managers can see projected occupation levels for a given period of time such as a holiday.
Leave management is critical to everyone and deserves an organization’s best effort.
DATABASICS is driven to meet the most demanding time and expense management challenges through a combination of deep expertise, next-gen technology, and a focus on the unique needs of each customer. Powered by decades of experience, our team delivers world-class time and expense management solutions that are the right choice for today and easily adapt to the uncertainties of tomorrow.