How to Manage Time-Off Requests

If you have a company or any kind of organization that employs people, you will at some point have to deal with requests for time off. Humans are not machines, and we all need to get some time away from work to handle our personal affairs or just simply relax and refresh. So how exactly do you manage time-off requests?

There are no rules or laws regulating how time off requests should be handled, so it falls largely on you as an employer to make your own rules to best fit your company/organization.

There are however some tips you can follow to make managing time-off requests easier.

Understanding Why Time off is Important

Every employer needs to understand the importance of vacation time and the value of giving employees time off to balance their work and personal lives, while at the same time ensuring that their business runs as efficiently as possible. Your heart may sink when an employee submits a vacation request. That basically means you have to figure out how the same amount of work is going to get done while your employee is away. But it must be done. No employer benefits from employees who are suffering from burn out and generally being overwhelmed with work.

Time frame for Leave Requests

So that things can get processed in an orderly manner, there should be a time frame in which your employers can request time off. Create a deadline before which time-off requests should be submitted to be handled. You may choose to make it a week, 2 weeks, or even a month in advance. Find out what works best for your scheduling needs, while at the same time being realistic with your employees’ needs.

Making sure Time-Off Doesn’t Stall the Company

As an employer, you should provide a checklist of things that your employee has to see to so that there’s as smooth a transition as possible while they are away. Work activities should not cease because someone is going away on vacation. You may include the following on the checklist.

• a summary of their ongoing projects

• outline important deadlines

• identify where critical files are located

• and provide contact information as a last resort

Have a Formal System for Time-Off Requests

There should be a formal policy for time-off requests and make sure each of your employees not only has a copy of this policy but also ensure they understand the policy. That way, everyone knows how and when to request time off, as well as any conditions for those requests.

Note

Every organization has its rules for requesting time off, the requests themselves take different forms depending on the company, with varying degrees of convenience for the actual employee.

Some companies use print out forms to process time-off requests. While this method may hold greater sway with more traditional employers who wish to see everything in black and white print, it could become overwhelming especially for larger companies who have a larger number of employees and need quicker, more effective ways to handle to large volumes of information while minimizing human error.

What about emails?

Emails are a less time-consuming way to request time off. You need simply to send your manager or HR person an email. This increases your chances of receiving a timely reply, and spares you the trouble of having to deal with paperwork, but can be a bit difficult to keep track of. The average employee’s inbox is quite a mess! With both emails and printed forms information on employees’ requests is commonly kept in an Excel spreadsheet or a separate HR system, which can help keep things organized, but could at times lead to some unfortunate mistakes associated with manual data entry.

Is there an easier way?

 There are software solutions dedicated entirely to streamlining the time off request and approval process. The whole thing becomes as easy as selecting a date, choosing the type of leave you’d like to take, and pressing a button to send the request to your manager. With a very user-friendly web version and a free mobile app, it allows you to request vacation time from pretty much anywhere, eliminating the frustrating steps and saving you valuable time.

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