For H.R. professionals, summer 2017 might have been a challenging time. A May 2017 article from Bloomberg found that Americans are taking more vacation days, which is good for the employees, but can be a real challenge for H.R. leaders to track who’s available and who’s not.
If you’re in charge of scheduling employees, here are 3 truths and 1 lie about workforce planning you should know about before you make your next schedule:
You should be tracking leave with strategic workforce planning tools.
The challenge is that there are many kinds of leave that aren’t tracked the same way. Vacation is different from sick leave, which is different from FMLA leave. If you’re using a simple spreadsheet, that could be adding to the problem. Manually keeping track of not only requests, but approvals, denials, and how much of each kind of time off each employee has is a lot to ask of someone.
That’s why a leave management system is so helpful. Something automated that allows employees to see how much leave they’ve accrued and to put in requests simplifies the process. Imagine seeing just an inbox of requests accompanied by all relevant data (like how much time the employee has remaining and how much they’ve used already). It’s just a matter of clicking Approve or Deny.
You need the most up-to-date data on available resources with workforce planning software.
If there’s a major a project around the corner that coincides with a month that employees typically take for vacation (like in the summer), it’s essential to know how many employees are available to get the job done.
A system that tracks available resources can help you make quick decisions about who is approved for time off. Plus, it can show you spikes in leave requests so that you know when you might need to bring on some temporary hires. This allows you to quickly inform employees whether their requests can be accommodated, which helps them plan their time off more efficiently, and thus makes for happier employees.
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Flexibility can only help you & your employees!
Some employers might be wary of allowing employees to work from home, but when you provide some flexibility, the requests for leave will decrease because employees can better balance their work and home lives. They don’t need to take a whole day off work if they can come earlier, leave later, telecommute, or swap shifts.
Automated software can also assist with tracking these employees. When it comes to timesheets, for example, you can be more trusting of employees if you can take advantage of geo-fencing. That way employees have to be at a certain location before they can clock in, making the software (and the employee) responsible for clocking in only when they’re on location. With this system, you don’t have to worry about giving employees some freedom.
Spreadsheets help you do workforce planning just fine.
Spreadsheets can be the ultimate downfall of any leave management system. Yes, they maintain data, but the data isn’t alive, isn’t real-time, and isn’t concerned with compliance or how much time it takes to enter information manually.
You deserve to go beyond spreadsheets. Leave management software does the heavy lifting of tracking requests, communicating approvals and denials, and making sure that all leave requests already meet policy requirements before it even hits your inbox. Plus, it decreases tension and improves communication around a sensitive subject. And, if there are concerns with compliance, auditing will make sure that all changes are tracked and data is verifiable.
Figuring out how to manage leave can be a real challenge. Making sure that not only do you have enough employees to complete a project but also that employees are happy is a real challenge. The solution, again and again, is automated leave management software for your workforce planning needs.
For more information on the DATABASICS Time & Expense solutions, contact us, or call (800) 599-0434.
DATABASICS provides cloud-based, next generation Expense Reporting, P-Card Management, Timesheet Management, Leave Management, and Invoice Processing automation. Specializing in meeting the most rigorous requirements, DATABASICS offers the highest level of service to its customers around the world.
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