Everyone needs time off to recharge their batteries. Ensuring that employees are regularly taking breaks and using their annual leave entitlements is not only key to their wellbeing, but also for your organisation. The balancing of the need for time off, with the need for productivity and uninterrupted business operations is where leave management best practice comes in.
What is leave management?
Employee leave management is the processes and policies that enable a business to manage all different kinds of time off for employees, from annual leave, to parental leave, to bereavement leave.
Ensuring that you have streamlined processes in place for all the different types of time off that people may be taking, allows you to better manage operations and workload. Automating this process, with an absence and leave management system such as edays, provides even further benefits, including reduced admin and enhanced visibility.
The first step in a best practice approach to leave management though is making sure that employees are regularly encouraged to take their allocated time off, as well as regular breaks from work. This boasts a number of benefits for employees and their wellbeing, and also helps to prevent business challenges such as a build-up of leave towards the end of the year, or staff taking prolonged periods of absence due to burnout.
Why is encouraging time off important?
Promoting employees taking time off when they need it is important for a number of reasons, both for the individual and for the company. Organisations that promote time off are more likely to see happier, more engaged and more productive staff, and they’re also more likely to find themselves better able to manage their leave processes.
Reduces stress and risk of burnout
If employees are going for long periods of time without a proper break, their workload can begin to get on top of them and they can become stressed and burned out. The need to have periods of time where they able to properly disengage from their work, and get some rest will allow them to come back to work feeling refreshed and ready to tackle their day.
The benefit of reducing stress and burnout isn’t just the employee either. Both of these conditions can lead to long term absences, which can be costly for businesses, as well as difficult to manage. Pre-empting and avoiding stress and burnout means that promoting planned absence in the short team can help to avoid unplanned absence in the long term.
Promotes work-life balance
Everyone has a life outside of work, and employees are generally happier when they feel that their employer acknowledges this and appreciates them for who they are. Encouraging time off helps to promote a sense of work-life balance, and gives employees time to do the things that are important to them.
By promoting time off, you are signalling to your employees that their life outside of work is valued, and an employee who feels valued is more likely to bring higher effort and energy levels to their role.
Encourages productivity and creativity
Sometimes, when people go for too long without a break, they can become stuck in a cycle of not working to the best of their abilities. They may be putting in a lot of effort still, but when energy levels drop, their productivity and creativity can take a hit.
This especially true where creativity is concerned, as often the best ideas come during periods of rest, rather than when your mind is overcrowded with day-to-day tasks.
Promoting time off should allows employees to better come up with creative and tactical solutions to problems your organisation may be facing, as well as to return to work refreshed to achieve more.
Boosts employee engagement and retention
Working for long periods of time without a break can lead to employees feeling that their routine has become monotonous, and that their efforts are not being properly recognised or rewarded. This can lead to disengagement, which is a costly risk for businesses as disengaged employees have 69% higher absence rates, 18% less productivity, and 60% more errors in their work.
Ensuring that you promote time off can help to break this cycle, and keep employees engaged by giving them time away from work. This can help to retain staff, as well as to attract new talent via a positive workplace culture.
How to manage leave effectively
Even if you have the best of intentions where encouraging time off is concerned, it’s important that this comes with proper policies and processes, so that time off doesn’t become an unnecessary business challenge.
With one configurable system, edays reduces admin through automated processes, helps you gain actionable insights into your absence and leave patterns, and assists you in becoming the employer you want to be. Book a free personalised demo to find out more.
Jenni Littlehales is a marketing professional and an experienced author with a background in a wide variety of industries. Her understanding of people, wellbeing and associated challenges give a unique perspective in the evolving landscape of HR and technology.