Improving Leave Management

Written by Charlotte - 06 Jun 2018 Category: HR news

Managing leave can be a major headache. At specific points of the year, particularly around the Christmas period and school holidays, HR can find themselves inundated with multiple leave requests.

Managing leave can be a major headache. At specific points of the year, particularly around the Christmas period and school holidays, HR can find themselves inundated with multiple leave requests. If organisations process these requests incorrectly too many members of staff may be allowed to be absent simultaneously. Get it wrong, and there’s also the likelihood of irritating teams and promoting distrust towards the HR department.

So how can leave be managed effectively? What steps can organisations follow to minimise the workload and process leave accurately and efficiently? This article provides an overview of leave management and several suggestions for improving this HR process.

What is leave management?

Managing leave requires the recording, approving and monitoring of staff leave. There are many types of leave to contend with: paid leave includes annual leave, parental leave and TOIL. Unpaid leave covers sickness and sabbaticals. As all employees will accrue and request leave throughout their contract, managing it well is an essential HR activity that can be very time consuming if not done correctly.

The impact of Absenteeism

We cannot talk about improving leave management without discussing absenteeism. Absenteeism, the practice or regularly staying away from work without good reason, is hugely detrimental to the organisation, even if the staff member is only off work for one day. Research suggests that in the absence of effective leave management, organisations often underestimate the number of days their staff are off sick. Indirect costs of absence include operational disruption, lower morale, increased stress for the team and greater employee turnover.

Tips for Improving Leave Management

  • Introduce a clear leave policy and make it mandatory reading. Doing so will go a long way to ensuring that staff know the number of days they are entitled to take, how many days they can carry over, and what to do if they are off sick. Having this format in place will make organising requests a little bit easier because the data will be more accurate from the start and aligned with company policymake it mandatory reading. 
  • Offer incentives to minimise leave clash. If your organisation is unable to close over popular holidays, try offering incentives to encourage staff to work over this period. For example, if staff are required to be in the office between Christmas and New Year, you could offer an additional day’s leave to be taken later in the year at a less busy time.

  • Automate leave management via a self-service portal. If you’re still using spreadsheets to manage leave, consider switching to an online leave management system. Using an online system will help reduce the admin burden on HR as it allows employees to create their own leave requests, and for their managers to approve without a long trail of emails back and forth. All requests and approvals are recorded within the system, with leave entitlement calculations updated automatically.

Automate Leave Management in Minutes

CiviHR offers a cloud-based leave management feature to help organisations process and track leave requests. Staff can submit their requests via the self-service portal and view their remaining balance and leave entitlements. HR users can easily monitor employee time off through this feature, approve requests, check for any leave clash, and report on absence over a given period.

Try out leave management for yourself today on our demo site. You’ll find instructions on using the leave module here.

Let the Numbers do the Talking: The latest HR Statistics

Written by Charlotte - 24 May 2018 Category: HR news

It is the HR department’s responsibility to make sure that their employees are motivated, satisfied and fulfilled in the work that they do. That’s no small responsibility!

It is the HR department’s responsibility to make sure that their employees are motivated, satisfied and fulfilled in the work that they do. That’s no small responsibility!

Recent research into the world of HR has produced some fascinating findings. These statistics (listed below are some of the key results) go a long way in helping organisations rethink the human resources sphere and all that it can offer regarding improving employee experience and company culture.

HR Tech

  • 97% of HR leaders are planning to increase their investment in recruiting technology by the year 2020, including nearly a quarter (22%) who anticipate a 30-50% increase in spending. (Future Workplace)

  • 48% of HR and talent professionals want to replace their current HR software with a cloud-based system by 2018. (Information Services Group).

Employee Wellbeing

  • 87% of employees expect their employer to support them in balancing their life between work and personal commitments. (Glassdoor)

  • 46% of HR leaders say employee burnout is responsible for up to half of their annual workforce turnover. (Kronos)

Company Culture

  • 92% of employees believe showing empathy is an important way to advance employee retention. (Businessolver)

  • 76% of HR leaders say onboarding practices are underutilized at their organization. (Kronos)


As HR becomes increasingly data-driven, statistics can be used as a valuable window into the must-know HR trends for the coming years, enabling organisations to stay focused and relevant; two attributes that help contribute to a productive and content workforce.

Can we avoid the trap of working full time hours for part time pay?

Written by Charlotte - 16 May 2018 Category: HR news

Flexible working is on the rise across all sectors: from doctors to teachers, recent... Read more

Flexible working is on the rise across all sectors: from doctors to teachers, recent graduates to seasoned employees, more than half of the workforce is now employed flexibly. While this way of working can appear hugely appealing and seem to offer a shortcut to achieving the elusive ‘work-life balance’ we all crave, it is more complicated than it first appears.

Full-time work for part-time pay

What are the reasons people opt to work part-time? Some want to pursue new hobbies, start a business of their own, or enjoy more time to spend with themselves and loved ones. Contrary to expectations, there have been reports of employees using their time off to catch up and manage their existing work so that they can keep the weekend free, rather than engage in any of the reasons listed above.

Recent research has shown that employees who move to part-time working often end up delivering full-time outputs for part-time pay. This discrepancy arises because employers often do not reduce workload when a professional transitions to part-time hours.

The impact of failing to reduce workload

Failure to reduce the workload on part-time professionals causes problems for productivity, staff wellbeing and retention rates.

Working full-time for part-time pay is not going to do much to boost morale, and is a recipe for resentment and disengagement; attributes best kept outside the office.

Full-time employees, having witnessed the demands placed upon their part-time colleagues, are likely to feel discouraged from working part-time and seeking out the benefits of flexible working. Without these appealing benefits on offer, employees are likely to look elsewhere to other organisations which have properly considered and implemented part-time roles.

How HR can help

Part-time workers need to negotiate two aspects of their job: workload (outputs) and availability (time). There’s a lot HR can do to aid this negotiation and ensure a smooth transition to part-time hours and a positive experience for their employees.

Below are three simple steps you can make to reduce part-time workload and make flexible workers feel valued and part of the team:

  1. Be inclusive: Part-time workers are more likely to miss out on office socials, team building exercises, training and development and, most importantly, career progression. Try to keep them updated with any new developments, company socials and ensure they continue to have 1:1’s and reviews so that their work remains on track and eligible for a promotion.

  2. Collaborate & Communicate: Research has shown that collaborative job design is the best way of tackling heavy workloads for part-timers. This process involves employee and manager/HR professional working to identify areas of the job that can be redesigned through prioritisation, delegation and swapping out non-essential tasks with other colleagues.

  3. Manage expectations from the start: Part-timers should have different expectations put upon them compared to full-time employees, and this should be made clear from the beginning. Doing so will help set boundaries and show part-timers that you are taking steps to manage their workload.  A great example of testing out these expectations when it comes to workload and availability is email management. As we all know, email is not part-time. It’s essential that flexible workers feel able to leave emails unanswered outside of their working hours, and that they can communicate this waiting period on an out-of-office message or equivalent.

It’s critical that employers recognise that part-time job design and management is not all down to the employee. Working practices were traditionally designed for full-time employees, not part-timers. By reevaluating and repurposing these traditional practices, the HR team can create an equal environment for all employees, whatever their working hours.

Bear in mind that it can take 6-12 months to reduce workload appropriately.  If the employee feels supported during this time,  and that the organisation is working to achieve the perfect balance on their behalf, it is much more likely to generate a positive experience of the transition to part-time working.

About CiviHR

CiviHR is a project to create affordable HR software for non-profit organisations. By developing open source technology the benefits can be shared with non-profits everywhere.


CiviHR is a project to create affordable HR software for non-profit organisations. By developing open source technology the benefits can be shared with non-profits everywhere.