Imagine resuming on a Monday morning to calls and angry emails from a disgruntled customer. The request they made a week ago hasn’t been responded to, and their designated client service representative is on leave. 

You go through your spreadsheets and emails to find the leave management folder and scour through all the paperwork to understand the client’s request, but this takes hours, leaving the customer feeling frustrated with your organisation’s service.


What is leave management?


Leave management, also known as time-off management, is a set of processes used to manage the application, approval, and tracking of employee leave in an organisation. 

It also involves communicating with necessary stakeholders to ensure minimal effects to your company’s operations when that employee is away from work.

Leave management seems simple on the surface – an employee works for a specified period and becomes eligible to get paid time off. However, when you throw in other factors like sick leave, simultaneously managing leave requests from multiple employees, and keeping track of leave balances, it becomes clear how daunting a task this is for HR, especially when managing time off manually.

While every employee deserves time off to rest and rejuvenate, it can be a hassle for managers and HR to keep track of who should take leave and when.

Even worse is the usual mix-up that causes two key players in the company to take leave simultaneously.


More drawbacks to manually leave management


1. Difficulty keeping track of leave balance


Most employees make estimated calculations of their leave days, leading to assumptions that can have serious repercussions. 

Employees could assume that they still have a few leave days left and make plans, not realising that their leave days have been used up. While the employee is responsible, the HR department can also be faulted for not communicating used leave days.


2. Stalled internal processes


Most leave requests are sent to managers and supervisors via mail. In larger organisations, it is difficult to do a proper check to ensure that leave days do not clash with planned organisational or departmental activities and projects.

Sometimes, team leads might even plan new projects around the time an employee has scheduled their leave, assuming that the employee would be available to participate as an integral part of the project. 

It can be detrimental to the organisation when tasks are delayed, or external contractors have to be brought in at extra cost to take on projects. On the flip side, frequently rejecting leave requests at the last minute or abruptly recalling employees from their time off can cause them to become unhappy and disgruntled.


3. Bias and favouritism


This can be subtle or obvious and happens when particular team members are granted extra leave days due to nepotism, while other team members might find it challenging to get their leave approved. In some cases, workers who are vital to the success of the organisations have their leave requests rejected because the team cannot handle their long absence.

Unfortunately, all these issues are likely to happen when leave management processes are manual, as it can be hard to keep track of time frames and projects underway when an employee applies for time off. 

Even the most meticulous excel or Google sheets cannot fully guarantee error-free leave management processes. This is where automation comes in.


Automated leave management system


Using leave management software, your HR department can develop an automated system that allows employees and managers to request leave, track or approve leave requests and leave balance while ensuring that relevant stakeholders know about employees’ time-off activity.

Using leave management software ensures that employees’ time off does not affect the organisation’s operations. It also means that HR spends less time monitoring and tracking employee time off.


Benefits of automating your employee leave management


1. It can save your HR managers valuable time and energy


The time HR spends on following up on each employee’s leave requests, updating their leave balance sheet, and ensuring that line managers are informed of employee leave can be better spent on more strategic HR functions. 

With leave management software, the process is automated, the employee applies for time off, the managers are notified, the leave is approved or rejected. 

Employees are notified about the status of their request and can see their balance leave days on a dashboard without having to chase down HR.


2. It prevents manual data entry errors.


There is the reality that manual leave management processes could be rife with inefficiencies, errors, and mix-ups. These mix-ups, as discussed earlier, can affect the organisation in costly ways. 

All manual processes are prone to error, but by automating leave management at your organisation, you help your HR run more efficiently with an error-free leave management processes.


3. It allows for collaboration and team planning 


It can be frustrating when employees have to work extra hard to cover up for lapses when a team member goes on leave. This is what usually happens with manual leave management, as the line managers who approved the employee’s time off initially may have forgotten that the employee would be going on leave at a critical time, especially if new developments happened after the leave request was made.

With leave management software, line managers can see when an employee is due to go on leave and work towards ensuring the workload is spread equally and as much as can be done is achieved before the employee takes their time off.

Additionally, the software makes it clear who would serve as the employee’s relief officer while they are away from work, so their responsibilities do not suffer.


4. It ensures adherence to company policy


An automated leave management system can be used to convey organisational leave policy to employees. This includes the number of permissible leaves, holiday calendar management, extended leave policies, and so on. Software like SeamlessHRMS have leave modules that can be modified to suit specific policies of the organisation.


5. It helps with labour law compliance


Automation can also help ensure that companies adhere to the leave policies of the countries in which they are located. This can help companies avert any liability issues as they ensure federal and state laws are complied with by the organisation.


6. Access to information on employee availability


With an automated system, HR and line managers can see the employees currently on leave or employees who would be going on leave in the future. 

This information makes it easy for managers to approve or reject leave requests immediately without going through emails or spreadsheets. It also helps managers plan tasks around employee availability, helping the company optimise its use of resources. 


7. It ensures full transparency


 There’s more transparency with a leave management system. Since rejection or approval have more visibility using the software, it’s less likely for employees to have their leave requests rejected or approved due to favouritism. Employees will not be denied leave on baseless grounds, and leave requests will not be abused.


How SeamlessHRMS can help


SeamlessHRMS is an all-in-one HR software that helps you streamline your HR. It comes with a leave management module that helps you plan, monitor and manage employee time off in real-time. 

You can also connect time off with payroll to eliminate disbursement errors, create and update leave types to reflect your company policies, and easily generate leave reports in one place.

Does this sound like what your organisation needs? 

Schedule a demo to see how SeamlessHRMS can help your company optimise its HR.