Five things to do on introducing employee time off request forms
1. Draft a PTO policy for employees' reference
The process of requesting time off depends on the policy type, the leave type, employee status, etc. For instance, in traditional PTO policy, there are different types of PTO, such as personal time off, sick time off, vacation pay, jury duty leave, etc.
These numbers can be fixed or could be accrued in fixed intervals every year. Some companies remove these labels and provide a PTO bank at the beginning of the year, giving employees the flexibility to use the time off however they see fit.
An increasing number of companies are also experimenting with unlimited PTO that removes limits on the number of days and frequency of the time off. Identify the PTO policy that works well for your company. Ensure you also consider the legal compliance around the PTO requirements for part-time and contract employees.
A PTO policy would work as a handbook for managers, elaborating the process of PTO approval, the deadlines for PTO requests and approvals, policy violations, and documents required.
2. Encourage managers to approve as much as possible
Although companies don't need to provide PTO to employees, companies choose to offer PTO mainly because it is a sought-after perk by employees. It helps employees take the necessary rest and time off from work and should be able to enjoy the benefits when they see fit. Employees should not feel anxious while taking the much-needed time off. To help that, encourage managers to approve time off requests as much as possible unless it is necessary to reject them. Train them to offer alternatives wherever possible by trading leaves, offering time off rewards for later use, offering a different shift, and so on.
Offering too much flexibility may lead employees to exploit the benefit.
3. Do not revoke time off requests if already approved
The purpose of providing time off is to provide a good employee experience. You mustn't ruin the employee’s plan in that quest by rejecting an already approved time off request. Your employees may already have booked their tickets, made reservations, and planned their time off, and a last-minute cancellation would be a huge buzzkill.
4. Avoid personal questions on time off request form
On receiving time off requests from multiple employees, managers tend to prioritize them based on the reason for time off. However, every employee has a personal life that needs to be respected.
Asking too many questions around the time off request may lead to a poor experience, discouraging employees from using their time off. It is essential to strike a balance by asking the right questions without making the employees uncomfortable.
5. Automate time off requests using time off management software
Time off management software can automate the entire process, from placing time off requests till time off tracking. Employees can access their time off policy whenever in question, learn the time off limits, view their team’s calendar, and do much more.
Managers will be immediately notified whenever there’s a policy violation, enable auto-approval, and be reminded whenever a time off request is nearing the deadline. Advanced time off reports makes it easier to spot the defaulters and ensure smooth payroll processing.