Any company would agree that the most valuable resource they have is their employees. Organizations typically have five or six workdays a week, and every business depends on the efficient organization of these days. It is also essential for companies to let employees rest and recharge, and have spare time for themselves and their families, to come back to work fully motivated to do better. Employee-leave management (also known as absence management, time-off management, etc.) is a crucial HR process in order to strike a fine balance between the company’s interests and employees’ needs. Also in the article ‘How to do Strategic Workforce Planning?’
The types of leave taken by employees vary from country to country depending on legal regulations. In addition to leave types mandated by the legal system, there are also leave types offered exclusively by companies. We will be examining the main leave types in Greece below.
In Greece, employees get 20-24 days of annual leave, depending on the seniority of their position. In addition, employees can take paid time off for reasons to do with their private lives, with extra paid or unpaid leave.
|Marriage leave||1 work week|
|Maternity leave||17 weeks|
|Paternity leave||2 days|
|Child care||1 hour per day|
|Bereavement leave||2 days|
|Voting leave||1 day|
Paid leave includes marriage leave (1 work week), maternity leave (17 weeks), paternity leave (2 days), child care (1 hour per day), bereavement leave (2 days), and voting leave (1 day). Unpaid leave includes family care (unlimited), parental leave (4 months), and military leave (9 months). Sick leave can be paid or unpaid but requires medical reports to be presented. Depending on the employer agreement, employees can take casual and unpaid leave for whatever they want.
As can be seen, with this wide variety of leave types it can be challenging to manage employee absences.
Leave management can be challenging since it needs to be in relation with workflow, payroll, the company’s leaves of absence policies, legal requirements, and more. It is a process that HR professionals must juggle with maintaining employee satisfaction and ensuring that work processes continue to run smoothly and everything is in compliance with on-paper rules.
Poorly managed leave processes may result in a disruption of workflow, mistakes in payroll management, and possibly more importantly, exhausting employees. It should be kept in mind that leave management means neither refusing employees time-off to keep the wheels turning or giving leave whenever they want. It is essential to manage it efficiently so that both the company benefits and the employees’ entitlements are fulfilled.
Mismanaged leave processes may create unexpected and undesirable legal problems in the future. To avoid this, HR professionals must make sure that they are informed about legal requirements and embed them in their management system. It is also vital to comply with company promises to the employees to avoid damaging the company culture and publicity.
The primary task of the HR department is to manage human capital properly, thus keep the company running efficiently. Miscommunication with other departments can easily damage this process. Strong communication with administrative staff can save you from problems like errors in paperwork, miscalculated payroll, and more. Team leaders are in a position to know what the deadlines and priorities are at any given time, so being in touch with them is also essential to avoid bad timing.
An overworked employee is no good for a company. It is known that exhaustion decreases cognitive abilities, thus harming employee performance and their social relations at work. Keeping in mind that a more-rested employee can contribute more to the company, HR professionals should prioritize their needs.
Nobody likes vagueness, especially when it comes to professional life. Standardization of management processes is essential to being on the same page with everyone working in a company. It is also important to set some boundaries on when employees can take leave. Employees must be informed about these boundaries as soon as possible to avoid later frustration.
Even though humans are cognitively sophisticated, we are also prone to errors. Fortunately, we have the technology to compensate for our vulnerabilities. Digitalizing all leave management data would minimize these errors, saving the company the time and effort of fixing them later.
Having all the leave management data in computers is not a good idea anymore. Mobilizing leave management not only means you can access and update your data easily, but also allows you to keep your co-workers updated and informed.
Smart working is almost a motto for today’s organizations. There are many leave management solutions offered to HR professionals, promising to manage their processes easily. Depending on the company’s needs, you can go for all-in-one software to integrate all processes, or you can just choose a leave management software (also known as “absence management software”) and avoid wasting your time. Quickly accessing and reviewing all the data, sharing it with employees and managers, and integrating variables that should be considered while planning leave will make this seemingly-complicated process incredibly simple. If you still haven’t, check out Kolay’s employee management application.
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