Vacation Planning with your HRMS

Vacation planning can be rough sailing, especially if you have many employees or a variety of rules due to local unions, regulations or country specific legislation. While every company needs a method to manage time and attendance to track days off, are you maximizing your investment in your HRMS to help you with these tasks? “Life’s a beach!” or it can be if you use your HRMS to manage vacation planning.

Does your company have a universal system where anyone internally can see if employees are scheduled to be in the office? Is there one online system or are multiple systems in place in various locations? Do you even have a system, or is everything local and paper-based? Today’s generation of HRMS include a lot of interesting features and functions to track this unwieldy data so if you see yourself in any of the above, read on.

Here are some common vacation planning issues plaguing companies today, and how your HRMS can assist you to overcome these challenges:

1) Overlapping vacation of key or critical resources

When one manager covers a department and colleagues communicate, most of the time there are not problems. However, in many matrix organizations, this simply isn’t the model. In particular, this issue can arise during peak vacation periods, such as school holidays or near three day weekends. This is where the power of an HRMS is particularly relevant. What if the manager plus the matrix manager received all holiday requests automatically via workflow? What if you could configure the HRMS to block busy periods from employee requests and instead build the process to require a communication with the manager first? These systematic guiderails can help to alleviate potential issues by ensuring that guidance is clear and encouraging open communication.

2) Lack of transparency in vacation planning outside of immediate colleagues/department

How often do you send an email or plan a meeting only to find out that someone important is on vacation? HRMS on the market today offer you configuration options, such as showing when someone is not in the office, thus enabling better planning through increased visibility of resources. As the base data of approved employee requests is sitting in the HRMS, enabling such functionality is not difficult.

3) Getting to a count of unused vacation days

It’s often a request from Finance or Audit—tell me how many vacation days employees still have this year. Do you find such a request to be a big effort? When the HRMS is the source of this data, it’s only a simple report that can be run in minutes rather than a data gathering exercise. As well, such a report can help you to be proactive to ensure that employees are taking vacation in a timely manner and that you won’t have an overload at the end of the year for vacation planning as employees scramble to use up days.

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Heather Batyski

About the author…

Heather is an experienced HRMS analyst, consultant and manager. Having worked for companies such as Deloitte, Franklin Templeton and Oracle, Heather has first-hand experience of many HRMS solutions including Peoplesoft and Workday.

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Heather Batyski