Poor leave management can set you up for disaster. It may seem like a bold statement but the truth is that how you manage leave affects your employees, who are essential to your company. If they are resentful, it could hurt your business.
When it comes to leave management and your employees there are many questions to consider. What leave system are you using? Are you communicating leave policies with them? Do they feel comfortable requesting time off? How are you tracking their leave?
These are all factors to take into account. How you approach them is essential to your business, which is why it’s important to avoid these common mistakes when it comes to leave management and your employees.
Office culture of shame
Employees are afraid to ask for leave, studies have shown. A survey by CareerJunction found that over 25% of respondents have been denied taking a vacation or sick leave. This creates an environment of fear. Staff are too afraid to ask for leave because they may be made to feel ashamed. They may feel their jobs are at risk and end up overworking themselves.
As a result, this will lead to poor employee retention, high absenteeism and even difficulty recruiting.
“I resigned from my previous job because of the owner that handled people like trash” one survey respondent said. “I didn’t want to leave, and I loved my work, but he never gave me leave or cared about my well-being after everything I did for his business.”
It is important to allow time off where it is due and to make employees feel comfortable to ask for leave.
Working while on leave
Imagine this scenario: An employee has put forth a request for time off, their request has been put into the leave system and has been approved. They are excited to have a break from the stress of their jobs, there’s just one problem- they are still working while on leave.
Many companies may grant leave but still request that employees remain plugged in by checking emails, answering calls and even working.
A study from recruiting website Glassdoor found that 2 in 3 employees (66 percent) report working while on vacation. This is counterproductive as it can lead to burnout and demotivation among staff members.
Allowing employees to enjoy their vacation without having to worry about work will be of great benefit to you.
How does outdated technology impact your business? If you are using a leave system that requires you to manually process information, you are vulnerable to mistakes, which can cost you.
It is also a time consuming and laborious process. That time and energy could be directed elsewhere but instead, the person tracking leave will have to first process all requests, then hand them over to the relevant department, then record it all manually before getting on with the other tasks their job requires.
Have you clearly communicated your leave management policies to employees? If not, and you are still relying on an outdated leave management system, it can easily lead to misunderstandings.
Employees can get caught up in the confusing process of requesting leave, which can cause frustration. If you are using a manual leave tracker, they are also less likely to know how many days off they have. They may overestimate how much time off they have and may not understand why suddenly their leave applications are being denied.
As a result of these issues, HR will be inundated with queries and complaints.