By now, you probably know that attendance software can save you lots of money by curbing overpayments, inaccurate time reporting, tardiness, absenteeism, buddy punching, and so forth. But employee attendance software can also help you to practice fairness with employee time off requests.
When employees feel that you are not being fair with their time off request, they are likely to start harboring feelings of resentment and will eventually look for work elsewhere.
In addition to vacation leave, employees are entitled to unpaid time off to handle personal issues, such as:
- moving house
- attending a wedding
- attending a religious event
- visiting a sick relative and so on
So, how do you handle time off requests without being unfair and at the same time without pulling your hair off?
1. Implement attendance software
The first thing you should do is ensure that attendance tracking is accurate. Only then can you effectively approve time off requests without interfering with the normal operations of the business. Implementing employee attendance software will give you a more accurate idea of the attendance trend of your employees.
2. Establish a fair policy
The other thing you need to do is to establish a vacation/time off policy that clearly outlines the rules on when they can take vacations or request time off, how much notice they need to give, and so on.
If you have already introduced time tracking software or punch clock software into the business, your employees, especially the new ones, will be able to access the policy online whenever they wish. In addition to this, they will be able request time off via your time tracking software, and you will be able to approve or decline their requests via the same attendance software. When crafting your policy, remember to take sicknesses and other emergencies into consideration.
3. Allow shift trades
Another way to this would be to allow your employees to shift trades, where by an employee can arrange to have his or her shift covered by a fellow employee so that he or she can take some time off. To avoid confusing other staff members, you will need to approve all shift trades first so that you can update the schedule. Once again, you will be able to receive shift trade requests through the software, and you will also be able to respond through the same. When managed well, shift trades can be a very effective way of approving time off requests.
4. Allow self scheduling
Self scheduling is also another way to practice fairness with employee time off requests. With self scheduling, you allow your employees to take the responsibility of choosing their ideal time off while still respecting the company’s policy on time off requests. This can be a good way of being fair with time off request, but it needs some oversight.
For some businesses, holiday weeks are the ideal time for employees to take time off because this is the time business is usually at its slowest. But for retail businesses, the holidays are normally nightmarishly busy and this is when a manager needs most of his or workers. Based on your line of business, your vacation and time off requests policy should clearly outline the times of the year when nobody is allowed to take time off, unless it is really necessary to do so.
5. Practice confidentiality
Including total confidentiality in your time off and vacation requests policy will get rid of any notions of management showing favoritism in these types of requests. Employee A’s reason for requesting time off might appear more important than employee B’s reason and your decision might induce some kind of resentment among employees. To avoid this, keep their reasons off the record but be transparent about the policy. Using a shared calendar will help you to pull it all together, and first-class punch clock software will help you achieve exactly that.
6. Be reasonable
There will be time when your employees will present sudden time off requests to handle an emergency or an important event. Their reasons will not always seem important to you, but they may be important to them. Be reasonable when handling such request or you might end up losing some of your best employees. When there is just no way you can afford to grant such a request, try to give a thorough explanation as to why it is not possible and there is a good chance that the employee in question will understand or even suggest a workable arrangement.
All in all, because premium attendance software enables remote clock-ins, you may allow some of your employees to work away from office as they address their personal issues if there really is no other way to it.