In today’s increasingly competitive economic climate, most companies strive to seek out every advantage they can. This may include focusing on innovation or doubling-down on staff development, to carve out of much of their market as possible. However, an area that’s often sadly overlooked is absence management.

Although it seems simplistic, how you manage annual leave and other absences can have huge, positive knock-on effects for your business. Here are the main reasons your company should adopt a digital absence management system:

Saves time

Most significantly, a digital absence management system will save everyone in the company time and hassle.

Consider a typical process for handling annual leave requests: First, an employee sends an email to HR, requesting time off. HR then checks the requested dates against those already in the annual leave calendar – be it a calendar app, a spreadsheet, or, on occasion, an actual diary.

If the dates are available, HR needs to record them, let the employee know, and readjust their annual leave allowance accordingly. Conversely, if their dates aren’t available, they need to inform the employee – and the whole process starts again. Plus, often, HR will have to send the request to management for approval, which adds extra steps.

And this just describes an annual leave request and doesn’t describe HR’s role in sick days, maternity leave, or other reasons for absence.

An online leave tracking system, on the other hand, streamlines this process considerably. Employees can check the holiday calendar themselves, leaving HR out of the process until they find suitable dates.  HR personnel can then approve or deny requests at the click of a button – notifying the employee immediately. Better still, the system also requests management approval, when required. Also, HR personnel no longer has to worry about recording the dates or recalculating allowance – it’s all done for them.

Frees up HR

Now that many of their responsibilities are automated, HR personnel will have more time to perform other functions of their job. This may include staff screening and hiring, employee training and development, and even consulting with management on company strategy.

Not only will your HR department be more valuable to the company, they’re also likely to be happier and more motivated, as the more tedious aspects of their job have been significantly reduced.

Changes and grows with the company

An online leave management system is well-suited to the continually-changing needs of an organisation – particularly a growing one. Firstly, as they remove many of the bottlenecks from absence management, they’re scalable. Often, businesses don’t seek to change how they handle staff absence because it appears to be fine. The flaws in their systems don’t reveal themselves until they start to grow – and HR is suddenly busier and stressed.

Secondly, they’re customisable, allowing you to add and configure different types of leave – when changes to your annual leave policy or company culture require them. Now, HR or management doesn’t have to wrack their brains trying to bend employee circumstances to fit their rigid system, they can quickly change it instead.

Instant reporting

Digital systems offer powerful reporting tools that offer a quick overview. This could include a snapshot of all the staff that will be off during a certain period, how much holiday an employee has outstanding, how often someone has called in sick, general annual leave audits, and more.

In a typical absence management system, which could be comprised of several parts, and having to meticulously look up information in multiple places could require considerable effort. Plus, its dependant on information being recorded correctly – consistently; a digital absence management system both records and calculates the necessary information for you.