How Retail Chains Are Using a Time Off Manager

While studies show that taking time off is good for employees, juggling all the time off and leave requests can be difficult for managers. Keeping track of leave policies, paid time off accrual and different time off types would give anyone a headache!

Well-managed time off is essential to optimize workplace efficiency and minimize unscheduled absenteeism. Poorly-managed time off sows discord and confusion and can lead to many wasted hours of back-and-forth or he said she said.

Smart businesses are skipping the human error of manual tracking, data entry and calculations with a time off manager. Automating and streamlining time off processes saves valuable time and avoids costly errors. 

What is time off manager software?

Employee vacation management software creates a clear pathway for employees to submit time off requests. Automation ensures that all requests are in keeping with company rules and regulations. Vacation tracking software creates a team calendar so that managers can review all absences at a glance and allows for the creation of customized leave types.

What a PTO tracker can do for you?

Now that you know a time off or paid time off tracker can save your team valuable time, let’s think about what exactly that looks like with retail in mind. Retail chains are particularly susceptible to having trouble with time off policies. The main reason for this is because they try to keep their floors adequately staffed and their employees happy.

What challenges do retail chains face when managing time off?

There are lots of things to consider when administering time off. One of the first complications is the sheer volume of staff. Retail chains need to accommodate large numbers of employees, some of whom may work in more than one store or department. High numbers of requests can keep the HR department too busy to undertake other essential tasks.

Retail chains also need to be cognizant of level approval processes. Depending on the employee’s position, they might need their request to be approved by both a supervisor and project manager. It can be complicated to keep track of which employee requests need to go where.

One of the trickiest parts of managing time off is creating and enforcing cohesive policies around:

  • how requests should be submitted
  • when employees can and cannot request time off
  • how far in advance time off should be requested
  • how time-off requests are managed during busy times

Lastly, retail chains have learned the hard way that managing time off is high stakes! Research shows that nearly 500 U.S based organizations cumulatively paid $8.8 billion for 1200 wage-violation lawsuits between 2000 to 2018. Failing to properly track hours or vacation time is a costly liability.

How do retail chains normally track holidays?

Hard as it is to believe, some retail chains are still stuck in the past, tracking time off with office 365 and using excel spreadsheets. Others might keep track of email threads, while some may ask employees to fill out paper leave application forms or half-day requests only to complicate matters further.

Businesses that don’t have a clear policy for how employees should ask for leave will likely be challenged to manage vacation requests. They may find that employees file requests across a variety of these mediums or still others— by phone, in person, in song.

These inexact systems might lead to squabbles comparing time off arrangements via emails, calendars, and receipts. This is one bureaucratic mess that the HR team just doesn’t have the time to navigate.

time off requests

How can using time off tracking software improve this process?

By automating processes time off manager software ensures that high volumes of time off requests don’t bog down HR. It also automatically requests approvals from the right people the first time around.

Time off management software gives employees the ability to initiate and requests and allows businesses to standardize and uniformly apply policies for when time off is awarded. Because these systems are online, they have the added bonus that they can be used anywhere anytime, by managers and employees alike, to review up to date information.

These systems ensure that time off data is accurate, which is crucial for smooth-running payroll processes. While manual data entry can result in overpayment, underpayment or even potential lawsuits, leave data and records from PTO trackers aren’t up for debate

How to Implement Hr Vacation Tracking Software

Have we convinced you that automation will make your time off processes more seamless and transparent? Here are some tips to integrate employee vacation and sick time tracking software with other HR functions and get it up and running in the workplace!

  • Establish clear policies and PTO guidelines. Consider some of the following points and once you know how you want the policy to look, you can communicate it clearly to employees. 
    • Decide on the maximum amount of vacation time an employee can take
    • Design a PTO accrual system
    • Set rules for PTO roll-over or reimbursement 
    • Plan for how to handle leave or PTO during busy times such as holidays
    • Create rules for partial days off
    • Determine if PTO must be used in certain increments
  • Customize your PTO tracker. Put your software to the test as it accommodates your needs.
  • Input as many holiday policies as you need.
  • Create different leave types such as jury, bereavement, sick days, vacation days, public holidays, personal days, and maternity or paternity leave. Your employees will be able to select the one that best applies.
    • Set the number of users and see all absences at a glance.
  • Educate employees on how to submit the requests and manager on how to review, accept and deny them. You’ll be up and running in no time! If a manager in one store taps into a policy that works exceptionally well, don’t hesitate to adopt the policy more broadly.

Vacation software for small business and retail

Automating time off can be especially useful for retail workers who are paid hourly and may be very specific about how much leave they want to use at any given time.

A time off manager not only improves accuracy and transparency but empowers employees by giving them total control to track their PTO accrual and submit requests. With all leave requests centralized and digitized, managers can keep their stores staffed and avoid unplanned absences. The system also affords the flexibility retail workers need! Being able to check up on their request status and PTO at any time is great for employees on the go.

This software will liberate HR workers from spending precious hours of manual vacation tracking. In addition, it will free up time to concentrate on other, more pressing areas of your work.

No more headaches! Take advantage of Time off Manager.

Written by Valerie Slaughter; Edited by Tanya Lesiuk

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