Best practices for leave management can help reduce stress and conflict in a company is to manage to leave effectively. Employees unhappy with the annual leave they receive often make their dissatisfaction known, either directly or through reduced performance levels, leading to tension and conflict among co-workers.

Here are 5 to consider:

#1– Establish a policy, and make it mandatory. Employees who feel their rights to leave are not secure may take as much leave as possible to ensure they are not penalised for it. If employees know what the policy is and their rights are protected, there is less scope for conflict.

While many companies have a standard policy, some may require more leave or less. If this is the case, it should be made clear to employees, and they should understand why the policy has been selected such as adhering to the industry best practices. Benign intent is essential – employees must feel that their company is looking out for their well-being, not just trying to control them.

#2– Communicate the policy to employees. Employees should be aware of the leave policy and it’s application- to the extent that there is no confusion about who is entitled to what type of leave and when it can be taken.

Employees who have been with the company for a long time may be unaware of recent changes to leave entitlements, so the company should inform them about the recent amendments. This is particularly important if an employee has been taking more leave than they are entitled to, for example, by using sick leave as if it were annual leave.

#3– Ensure all employees know what constitutes leave and how to record it. There should be no ambiguity about the types of leave available, and employees need to know their entitlements.

Ideally, employees should view their leave balances online whenever they want. This way, any problems in managing leave are resolved quickly and without conflict.

#4– Make sure managers know the policy and apply it fairly. If some employees are favoured over others, the policy will fail. Managers must be given clear instructions about using the policy and must be held accountable for doing so.

#5– Ensure employees’ responsibilities are taken into account when applying the policy. For example, an employee on leave may still be required to do some work, which needs to be taken into account when the policy is applied.

Employees who take leave without letting their supervisor know may be perceived as disloyal or uncommitted. While it is better to give more notice than less, some unforeseen circumstances (e.g. illness or family emergencies) may prevent employees from doing so. Managers should take this into account when applying the policy.

Invest in a Leave Management system

The best way to ensure a company’s leave management policy is followed and that employees can apply for leave online is to invest in a leave management system. This will automate the process, making it easier for employees to apply for leave and managers to approve or decline leave requests.

A leave management system will also ensure that employees know their leave entitlements and that the policy is applied fairly to all. It will also ensure employees know what tasks they need to complete while on leave and what tasks can be done by other staff members.

Managers will have a better overview of employee leave and plan staff rosters accordingly. This will help to ensure that work is not disrupted when an employee is on leave.

A well-implemented system will reduce stress and increase productivity, as there will be no risk of an employee taking more holiday than they are entitled to or of work piling up while they are away.

Leave management is an integral part of any company and should be based on best practices. By investing in a system to manage leave, companies can ensure that employees feel secure with their leave entitlements and apply for the days they need.

The Bottom Line

As with any policy, the best way to ensure effectiveness is to review it regularly and make changes where necessary. By following these five best practices, companies can leave effectively and reduce the likelihood of conflict.