Tips for Managing Vacation Requests
“Is there an SOS line for HR,” one woman asked on a forum dedicated to HR professionals. “Why, what do you mean?” was a follow-up question from another avid user. “I mean managing vacation tracking requests is making me sick and I’m panicking. I’m about to commit professional suicide and leave the company”.
Just because the SOS hotline for HR doesn’t exist (yet) it doesn’t mean you cannot get decent advice by simply browsing the internet. We, here at Vacation Tracker, know-how managing vacation requests can be tedious and nerve-wracking. That’s why we decided to write a whole article about it and share some tips on how to do it successfully.
Create a leave policy and stick to it
Even though they have leave policies, some organizations continually fail to stick to them. We’ve seen a few of them approving vacation requests for employees new to the company which was (clearly) against the leave policy they were following. By doing this, they are risking an uneven workforce throughout the year which can further endanger their overall profit. To be successful in managing vacation requests, organizations should strictly follow their rules and allow little to no exemption from them.
Create a notification policy
Many employers ask for a minimum of two weeks’ notice for employees’ time off from work. Less frequent, but still present in some organizations, employers ask their employees to plan their vacations a year in advance. Successfully managing vacation requests goes hand in hand with a proper notification policy. Sticking to it makes approving leave faster and enables organizations to shift their workload and adjust the workforce accordingly throughout the year. Rules about leave management should be set at the beginning and companies should make sure every employee knows what’s the procedure for acquiring it. By ensuring everyone knows the rules and follows them organization can avoid any discrimination charges based on the administration of the company’s vacation policy.
Managing vacation requests suddenly becomes easier when you offer incentives
Some businesses have slow and busy months. That’s why they need to shift their workforce to be at its full potential. One way to achieve this is by offering incentives to their employees and increasing the number of employees working during busy periods. For instance, organizations can offer extra pay or an additional day off, etc.
Track previous requests for better leave management
There are one too many reasons why companies should keep track of all leave request their employees make. For one, it will enable them to see who’s the one within the organization who used the least amount of days off and make sure they don’t head for burnout. Secondly, it will enable organizations to spot patterns their employees make when requesting leave. This will put organizations in a better position for approving and denying leave requests because they will be able to see which employees make leave requests too frequently.
To ensure success while managing vacation requests, organizations should be flexible and allow trading leave days among employees. For instance, emergencies can occur and there will be times when some employees cannot make it to the office. In those cases, one of their colleagues should be able to “jump in” and trade shifts. Letting employees agree among themselves enables the organization to move from the equation and decreases the chances of favoritism. However, even in those cases companies should track switched shifts to avoid burnout in one part of the employees.
Make sure overlapping time is decreased
Employees within the organization can take time off at the same time, however, sometimes employee overlapping can be a problem. To avoid being accused of favoritism, companies and organizations should determine rules to follow to decrease overlapping time. There are a few ways to do this:
- Following seniority rule
Basically, this means if several employees requested leave at the same time, the ones who are longer in the company have priority.
- Following the “who’s first” rule
This means if a few employees make a leave request at the same time, the one who made it first will get it.
- Following the manager’s discretion rule
Managers have the best insights into what’s happening in their employees’ lives. That’s why they can decide which employee needs a vacation the most based on the family or health situation.
Managing vacation request can become a “joke” if you choose to use vacation tracking software
Managing vacation requests can be a drag for many reasons. It’s just too much work and pressure put on HR managers. But it doesn’t have to be that way!
Vacation Tracker is here to take away the anxiety over employee leave tracking. All that by simply being one of the easiest leave tracking software in the market.
Easy to use, this Slack integration takes only seconds to install. Employees can send requests by simply typing /vacation on their Slack channel. From their Vacation Tracker’s Slack bot will guide them until they fill out the short form. On the other hand, managers will get a notification each time employees make a request which will enable them to approve or deny it quickly.
Vacation Tracker is suitable both for small to mid-sized businesses and enterprises. Additionally, Vacation Tracker enables leave tracking for offices in different locations/teams. It can be easily adjusted to fit each business’s needs by offering customized settings for different leave policies.
What we love about Vacation Tracker is the possibility of viewing information for each team separately and exporting reports in CSV files for a clearer overview of the situation. Proof that Vacation Tracker goes for quality instead of profit is that you don’t need to pay a dime to try it out, you just need to sign up for the first 7-days trial period and see how it fits your business.
A cat enthusiast and a cupcake maniac, Ana is a freelance Content Writer passionate about HR, productivity, and team management topics. When she’s not at her keyboard, you can find Ana in the kitchen, trying to make delicious cookies.