Updated: May 17
Changing the staff holiday planner is a New Year’s ritual at many small and medium companies. Last year’s jumbo-sized calendar comes of the wall, this year’s goes up, and the work of updating the whole staff’s holiday to the planner begins.
The simplest method?
Especially in a small business it can seem like the simplest way to manage holiday across the firm is on paper. After all it’s fairly easy, you may think. And perhaps, in the early days it is. A large calendar on the office wall showing who’s on holiday on any given day can do the trick. Each team can be grouped together, making it easy to see at a glance who’s in the office and who’s on leave. So far, so good.
Then John leaves and Nancy replaces him. Now you have one team member at the bottom of the list, away from her teammates. A reorganisation or the opening of a new office throws things out a little more. Part time workers, lieu days for bank holidays, mid-year starts and parental leave crop up to add to the confusion.
Then you need to start factoring in data protection. While simple holiday is open knowledge, after all people can see when a colleague is not in the workplace, more complex issues can be protected information. Sick leave, parental leave, bereavement and other absences will need to be recorded more discretely.
So you might move from the big calendar on the wall to the securely locked filing cabinet. Over time the ongoing record for each employee grows bigger, and it becomes harder to track who has how much leave remaining as the holiday year progresses. Gathering the data to remind staff how much time off they have to take now becomes a mammoth task that takes up increasing amounts of time.
The paper-free alternative?
The alternative to this might be to create a spreadsheet to handle your annual leave administration. This takes away the storage issue, reducing all of those filing cabinets to a computer file. If you know what you are doing with Excel formulas you can even have some of the calculations performed automatically, although you will first need to know how to work out, for example, pro-rata holiday entitlement for part-timers.
Creating your spreadsheet will make your holiday management faster than a paper-based system, but it cannot remove many of the complications that arise. Each employee will still need to have their records maintained manually by you, recording applications for time off, and how much leave entitlement they have remaining. Applications will need to be made on paper or by email, and the information entered onto your spreadsheet.
It might seem that the choice to small business owners is between to imperfect solutions. Time-consuming paperwork or the complexity of creating a spreadsheet that is “good enough”. There is another option. LeaveWizard’s specialist online leave management system provides an all-in-one solution for staff holiday and absence management.
A smarter, faster option.
Employees can use the mobile app to easily see how much holiday entitlement they have left, and to book upcoming holiday. Managers are able to use the intuitive online dashboard to see and approve requests, create custom reports to show patterns of holiday and absence, and to have pro-rata calculations for part time employees or mid-year starters automatically calculated. Best of all because LeaveWizard’s system is customisable, it is able to scale as your company grows, so that you don’t have to navigate around features you never use.
LeaveWizard’s satisfied customers have found that they save huge amounts of time over using a paper-based leave management system, while the automated calculations and simple custom reports of an online system take away the complexity of creating an annual leave spreadsheet. If you are looking at the options for managing holiday at your company, why not take a free trial of LeaveWizard and experience annual leave management made easy?