During this busy time of the year, a raft of holiday bookings can derail productivity within smaller organisations. Could digital software help bridge the gap?
This article is sponsored by Breathe HR – a comprehensive HR support and cutting-edge, cloud-based HR management system.
Between Christmas and the New Year, we are approaching the busiest time for employee holiday bookings. Whilst your hardworking team have earned a break, these bookings can easily come in thick and fast during this busy period. When managed manually, these holiday bookings can be a real headache for your organisation’s HR team - and can pose a real issue for productivity and continuity of service within smaller organisations.
Digitising this process not only saves time for HR teams that may already find their resources stretched during busy times of the year, but can provide transparency, help avoid double-bookings and ensure that all employees receive their holiday entitlement without adversely-affecting the work that needs to be done.
Managing Staff Holiday Entitlement
Managing staff holiday entitlement is a crucial process for organisations of all sizes but poses a particular challenge for small organisations. If your staff are covering multiple functions within one role, or are working under short turnaround deadlines, then absences and holidays can have a major impact on productivity. With a smaller number of employees to deal with, it can be hard to cover absences and carry on as normal.
This is especially true if your workers are all clamouring to be off at once. This is often the case during the end of year holiday rush. If staff don’t use up holiday on a steady, regular basis throughout the year then this can culminate in a situation where too many of them have leave to use up before the accrual year is over. Statutory Working Time allowance has to be used in full - you can’t pay employees in lieu of holiday entitlement (unless they are leaving their job and currently seeing out their notice period). Therefore, fulfilling your statutory obligations could leave smaller organisations short-staffed.
Holiday allowance calculators can help employees to keep track of the number of holiday days they have used/accrued, enabling them to stay current with their holiday allowance. This can help people to take all the leave they are entitled to, whilst making holiday bookings in such a way as to not clash with other holidays taken by members of the team.
How Holiday Bookings Impact Morale and Productivity
Many people, unless prompted, don’t take all of their holiday days. This can lead to leave congestion at the end of the year. But the organisational issues this contributes to are more complex. A lack of time off can lead to burnout, which affects morale and productivity.
Travel firm Airtours conducted research in 2016 found that 40% of the British workforce didn’t take the full holiday entitlement within a given year. It falls on the manager to ensure that employees stagger holidays so that they remain rested and relaxed whilst not causing congestion of holiday requests for HR.
According to the same research, 25% of those surveyed didn’t want or need to take time off, but 80% of employees who did use up all their leave said that it had a positive impact on morale and productivity.
Holiday management software can ensure organisations and teams achieve transparency. Approvals can be processed more expediently, which means that people are less likely to miss out on booking flights and hotels. HR teams also benefit, as they can coordinate cover within a team, ensure that end of year holiday congestion is avoided, whilst also gently reminding employees with leave outstanding to take it before the end of year rush.
Finding a digital solution
There are a number of concerns for HR teams that need to be addressed:
The ability to view your employee holiday allowances in a clear and consistent online system can help to manage these concerns. Employees who are not regularly taking leave can be encouraged to do so well before the end of the year. Sending out periodic reminders can help alleviate congestion. Regular reports on who has leave remaining can help your HR team to stay on top of things.
Digitising this process can make the management of holiday entitlement and leave much smoother, and can be of particular benefit to smaller organisations, who will be more adversely-affected by miscommunication and leave congestion than larger organisations. With the right planning, your organisation can continue running smoothly whilst making sure that your hardworking employees receive a well-earned break.