Requesting a day off and getting it authorized should not take more than a couple of minutes. Unfortunately, this is simply not the case for businesses still using holiday request forms.
A holiday request form for those that don’t know, is a form that employees are required to fill in every time they want to take a day off work. And they are bad for many reasons.
Over the years we have spoken to many businesses that are using holiday forms, each time they have called us up because they want to move away from these time-consuming forms and onto an easy to use system. There are however still many businesses using these leave request forms, which is just plain wrong.
Now we are sure there are a lot of you who are reading this and thinking, “But we’ve always done it this way, why change now?”. For those of you who are thinking this, please stop. Just because it is how you have done it up to now, doesn’t mean it’s the right way.
Whether you are using a holiday request form to update a wall chart, spreadsheet, or basic online system, these forms are the wrong way to go about booking and managing holiday requests. In the modern world, people want everything at their fingertips and for tasks to take a matter of minutes. Technology alone has enabled us to do this.
Think about all the ways that we use technology to make our lives better and easier. Take ordering food for example. We used to have to call up a single restaurant, ask for a menu, then order some food. Now there are apps like Just Eat and Deliveroo that have thousands of restaurants all in one app. Making ordering food easier and better than ever before.
So why should employees suffer the strain of filling in a form to book a holiday, when there are so many staff holiday systems that give employees the power to book annual leave at their fingertips. Well, they won’t. They will very quickly become frustrated with the lack of technology in your business and leave.
There are hundreds of reasons as to why these paper forms are extremely bad, but we have narrowed it down to our top 5 which you can read below.
1. Speed up the request process
Instead of employees needing to find the holiday form, print it out, ask questions about it, fill it out and then give it to HR. Employees can simply log in to an online account, click the day they want off and request it. Going from a process that takes more than 10 minutes, to one that can take less than a minute.
2. Speed up the authorization
Just like booking a holiday, getting it authorized is considerably quicker. With paper forms, employees must wait for HR to check with the manager and then manually enter them into the system they are using. Along the way, these forms can go missing, take a day or two to be sent to managers, or even forgotten to be entered into the system altogether. With this many steps in the process, it takes a long time to authorize any holiday.
With a staff holiday system, just like ours, managers will automatically be sent an email as soon as one of their team has requested a day off, which they can then authorize from their email account.
3. Employees can see their annual leave details
With an online system, employees can see their holiday entitlement, what days they have taken off, holidays they have coming up, and how many days they have left to use. This means there is no longer the need for employees to constantly contact HR, hassling them, and constantly asking questions about their entitlement. Which for every request takes time away from HR to do their jobs.
4. Fewer errors
Whether it’s employees filling in the annual leave form or HR adding the holiday into the system they use, both manual processes can cause errors. Employees could accidentally put in the wrong date, HR could think it was a 6 not a 5 or the employee could request a total of 3 days off when it was only 2. Whatever the reason, manual process and human error go hand in hand.
With better absence management, these manual processes will be completely removed and replaced with automated processes.
5. Better for the environment
Last but by no means least, it is better for the environment. With fewer forms to print out and fill in, less paper will be used, meaning fewer trees being chopped down. So if you are looking to help the planet or wanting to become a paperless office this year, then move to an online system.
On top of helping the planet, you won’t need to buy as much paper or ink for the printer, which will save you money.
If you’re tired of using holiday request forms and want to see how our online holiday planner can help you manage holidays easily, give us a call on +44 (0)333 300 3403 or request a demo with us and let us show you how easy booking annual leave should be.
You and your people deserve better than paper holiday forms.
Request a personalized online demo today.
Katrina is edays' own People Director with significant UK and international experience in delivering people strategy and value-adding HR solutions across a range of organisations and sectors (including Arriva, Boots, Rolls Royce, the utility and charity sectors). Katrina has over 20 years of experience in Human Resources and is CIPD qualified.