Leave management, when organized poorly, turns into a very time-consuming process even in small teams. Requesting a leave, approving it, checking if there’ll be no deficit of resources for future work amounts, rearranging leave dates are time-wasting activities both for managers and regular employees.
There’s no lack of advice on how to organize leave tracking and management wisely and efficiently, and there are many tools available on the market. So how to choose a leave management system that would help avoid misunderstandings related to taken and booked leaves and save managers’ time?
Why move to a special leave management tool?
There are companies that still track their employees’ leaves in an old-fashioned way, in spreadsheets. The power of habit often gets in the way when moving to new tools and services, and managers have to find out the ways to manage leaves in tools that are not designed for that.
Those who implemented special leave management software instead of spreadsheets and leave tracking modules of other tools report that it proves to be more helpful even for small businesses with 3–5 employees. Why?
- It reduces paperwork and saves managers’ and employees’ time. Constant email back-and-forth when requesting and approving leaves, or paper leave requests consume valuable time — so why keep wasting it?
- It calculates leave balances automatically. Managers don’t need to use a calculator or create formulas in a spreadsheet that would add and deduct leave time from the overall pool of days off.
- It helps keep track of attendance. Absenteeism affects even those who do attend work, as it undermines discipline in the team. When all absences are tracked, employees get more organized at work.
- It allows planning work and resources ahead. Team and project managers need to know in advance who is available for upcoming workloads and how much of it the team can handle.
- It helps avoid conflicts related to errors in leave balance calculations. With it, balances are calculated accurately and all accrued and spent days are traceable, so misunderstandings related to calculation mistakes can be easily avoided.
What needs to be taken into account?
A careful review of features and advantages of each tool is necessary when selecting a leave management system that would fit your company’s requirements. Here’s a list of what you need to consider when reviewing available options.
- Decide if your company needs a dedicated tool or a leave management module in other software. Special tools are great, but integrations with other systems might be useful. For example, a leave tracker integrated with a work time tracking tool can create a time-recording system that provides an overview of time expenses for past and current work and available resources for the future workloads.
- Make sure that the system supports configurable balances, leave types, accrual and spending rules. If your company has specific requirements to the balance accrual rules or you are using unusual leave types, the system should allow to create and configure them.
- Access from anywhere is a helpful feature of leave management software. Easy access from home, public and other non-office networks usually turns out to be helpful when unexpected events are recorded in the system, for example, sick days.
- Error-free multi-user access and employees’ self-service are important advantages that special leave tracking tools offer, so make sure that the system you choose has these features. Leave requesting and approving shouldn’t take too much time, so an easy procedure needs to be provided for that in the leave management software.
- When everyone can easily access the system, data access restriction turns out to be one of the critical features. Make sure that your new leave tracking tool provides different data access levels for regular employees and managers.
- The last, but not the least: small effort for configuring and implementing the tool. User onboarding tends to be a complicated process, so preferable are the solutions that don’t require special training.
- Affordable pricing should also be taken into account, especially if you are choosing a tool for a small or medium team. Review all options that are available on the market to understand which one will be a wise investment.
Choosing the right leave management tool for a company is not always easy. Carefully analyze your company’s needs and understand which tool fits these requirements best. Also, don’t forget about costs of the solution that you’re going to move to, and about the effort that is required for its implementation and user onboarding. An easy-to-implement and user-friendly leave management system will be of help when saving the team’s time and maintaining an organized work environment.