Why is effectively managing leave requests so important?
In general, a transparent leave request policy and organized approval process reduce the complexity of managing requests and helps minimize friction within your company. But there are other benefits that come from improving your time off management processes.
Increases visibility into team capacity
Time off, especially unexpected time off, can disrupt team workflows and capacity. Smaller teams or businesses in a growth cycle can be disproportionately affected. For instance, a lean team with a high workload will be much more strained when unexpected leave occurs, as the remaining members of the team must adapt with already limited bandwidth.
An optimized process for managing time off requests can provide managers with additional visibility into a leave request’s impact on team capacity. As a result, managers can anticipate, plan for, and respond to this impact more quickly.
Defines expectations and builds trust
A standardized leave management process will ensure that employees have reasonable expectations and are not surprised by your response to their leave requests. This may increase a sense of fairness and trust among your employees, and thus prevent misunderstandings that can arise if a process is seen as inconsistent.
Leave requests can quickly become complex and require a lot of time and energy to manage. For example, a time off request may require input from multiple managers, HR, the employee, and the employee’s teammates or supervisor. This can be especially complicated if the primary tool of communication is email. A standardized or automated process can make the process more efficient and manageable.
Assists with compliance
Federal, state, and local laws will have an impact on your company’s leave policy. For example, these regulations may determine the amount of time an employee can take off, and for what reasons. Non-compliance can be costly for employers, and a well-defined process can help managers stay within legal and company policy guidelines.