Why a Leave Management System is essential in 2024

Why you need leave management 2023 1

Coordinating holidays has long been challenging for small business managers taking on HR responsibilities. As the weather warms up, the competition is hot amongst team members to secure ideal leave dates.

Introducing a Leave Management System is essential whether your team is large or small. If you want to modernise your operations on a budget, investing in a dedicated space to manage employee absences streamlines the leave process for both the employer and employees.

With summer fast approaching, a Leave Management System provides a framework for organisations to track annual leave, monitor employee absenteeism and reschedule shifts automatically to ensure that the business is always at total capacity.

Stick with us as we jump into the ins and outs of leave management and reveal why it should be an integral part of your HR strategy in 2024.

How does a Leave Management System work?

One of the most time-consuming HR processes is leave management. From the approval journey to ensuring adequate staffing replacements, the domino effect of just one employee absence can leave an HR department spinning.

Managing multiple employee channels at once can be tricky in a corporate world full of last-minute holiday requests and impromptu sick calls. Combine this with over-edited manual rotas, and you will face a jumbled-up shift plan.

The question is, how do you untangle it?

Digitalising leave management with an integrated system can automate each step of the absence process from request to rota regulation. A Leave Management System allows employees and their employers to apply, approve and reject holiday requests from any device at any time.

Better still, a good leave management system is also a great employee tracking tool, automatically generating detailed reports about individual absenteeism, historical leave and current company progress.

These reports can help HR departments compare employee leave stats and highlight potential areas for concern that can be taken to management.

Last but not least, most Leave Management Systems come fully equipped with workflow tools that can automate the leave process; these range from automatically changing an employee's rota to digitalising the approval of an absence based on a set of AI-informed permission levels.

Why is leave management critical for small business success?

You can be forgiven for not immediately thinking of leave management in the vast portfolio of HR responsibilities; after all, it's only a problem once something goes very wrong, and then it's a disaster.

Many small businesses still use a spreadsheet system to manage leave because it is cost-effective, and they still need a full-service and expensive HR solution. This spreadsheet often has one owner within the business to coordinate everyone's schedules based on email, text, and in-office notices, hoping they remember to update everything necessary.

The importance of excellent leave management should come from the peace of knowing that your data is correct at all times, but often it becomes evident when disaster strikes. It is not just annual leave and rota clashes that cause chaos; usually, there is time to fix holiday issues. The biggest challenges arise from leave we can't plan for; illnesses, bereavement, compassion and more; these events make you wish you had levelled up your leave management sooner.

Why your small business needs leave management now

In a new era of flexible working, it's time to digitalise as many processes as possible, especially if you're a small business startup. Whether you know how to improve your website building or introduce new forms for online communication, automating HR essentials such as leave management and payroll tracking can free up time for better levels of one-on-one employee communication and staff support, all factors that improve employee retention in the early stages of running a business.

Here are four reasons why a Leave Management System should be at the top of your list in 2024.

Live leave monitoring

Live attendance tracking is one of the most raved-about benefits of a Leave Management System.

If your company is quickly growing, it can be hard to process numerous employee leave requests simultaneously, making it harder to track who is off and when, especially when editing a manual rota.

Employees can access a holiday portal on the go using a Leave Management System. Each annual leave request and unexpected absence request is automatically added to the system, making it easier to make last-minute adjustments to the rota.

Managing flexible working

We live in a significant era with more flexible working arrangements than ever before; this gives all kinds of people the freedom to keep great careers without sacrificing essential life milestones. The technology available to small businesses now plays a vital role in making this possible, and the tech that assists your HR efforts is no exception.

In modern workplaces, people have better opportunities for working remotely, balancing family with career and designing a life that work fits into more seamlessly. Companies that embrace flexibility attract high-quality talent and show more significant potential for retaining team members. Adopting flexible policies in small businesses often requires software to assist with important communication. Incorporating leave management software in your business is a cost-effective way to continue modernising your operations.

Improving staff support

Leave management software can quickly create up-to-date insight reports at the click of a button, aiding HR teams in monitoring staff attendance and comparing employee leave balances.

These insight reports can highlight potential absenteeism red flags, which could suggest that an employee needs more support.

Better still, a Leave Management System introduces a new form of one-to-one communication between HR and company employees. Holiday and unplanned leave requests are no longer handled via email/phone calls which can be missed or buried.

Instead, employees can instantly communicate their questions and concerns about their leave in a dedicated space that notifies HR departments when there is an adjustment, message, or request.

Accurate payroll updates

To keep staff relations positive, an up-to-date payroll that takes leave into account is essential.

If you want your employees to remain motivated, it is vital to digitalise your payroll. Integrating your payroll system with your Leave Management System is an easy way to ensure your payroll updates remain accurate. Employees' payroll accounts are automatically amended to reflect their personal circumstances as they take leave.

Automating this process is a great way to eliminate manual errors and ensure your employees are paid each month correctly.

Use Leave Dates to make leave collaborative and transparent

If you want to update your leave management process, why not try out Leave Dates?

When you get your team on Leave Dates, they can request time off, and you can approve and manage it anytime, anywhere. One of the greatest benefits of using the app is the automation; all the information submitted goes straight into the wall chart, so you know where everybody is at a glance.

Better yet, you don't have to log in to the app to know who is away, simply set up the Google or Outlook calendar integration and Leave Dates becomes part of your everyday routine. If you want to make it even more intuitive, you can get a Slack notification pushed to your designated channel daily or weekly.

If you want to streamline employee leave this summer, it's time to invest in a Leave Management System. Not only will your HR team thank you, but your employees will too.

Rebecca Barnatt Smith


Rebecca is a freelance journalist and multi-media marketer who writes about small business strategies and startup marketing. She is a columnist a Real Business and Agility PR, where she frequently comments on new B2B and B2C trends.