According to the U.S. Travel Association’s State of American Vacation report, 52% of Americans say they are proactive in planning out their vacation time. Those who take the time to plan in advance are far more likely than average to use all their earned days off.

Planners are noticeably happier than non-planners with not just their personal relationships (81% versus 68%, respectively), but also with their company and job.

That fulfillment seems to have an effect on their work ethic, as well. More than half (52%) of mega-travelers—defined in this report as those taking all or most of their vacation days to travel—received a promotion in the last two years compared to “homebodies” who use little to none (44%). In fact, homebodies were 5% less likely than mega-travelers to report a raise or bonus in the last three years.

There is a clear relationship between employee happiness and employee productivity. With this in mind, employers should (1) put more emphasis on encouraging employees to use their earned PTO and (2) have a process in place to make it simple for employees to plan ahead.

Here is how Indeavor’s Annual Vacation Planning module can help keep your employees satisfied and your organization running smoothly.

Streamline Planning and Reduce Errors

By replacing manual vacation tracking and management processes with our automated, centralized platform, supervisors save time.

When employees have multiple ways of requesting time off—filling out paper forms, putting the request on a paper calendar, emailing supervisors, using an app messaging platform—managers are stuck juggling requests coming from various sources and then compiling them together. They’re using at best an Excel spreadsheet and at worst a piece of their notebook paper to keep track of requests and final vacation date approvals.

This is prone to many errors, including:

  • Forgetting an employee’s time off was approved and scheduling them to work during it, resulting in either a scheduling gap or having to deny already approved PTO
  • Allowing too many employees to take off on the same day, causing understaffed shift(s) that require previously unbudgeted overtime
  • Missing an employee’s request completely, creating a decrease in morale

Many companies have an annual vacation planning process that takes place between October and the end of January for the “next year period”. Usually this happens across a few “rounds”. HR managers that we have spoken with in the past have described their vacation planning season in negative terms. They either have innumerable paper forms submitted to them that they have to sort and lay out and key into a system, or they have to organize getting the right people to enter their office to plan their weeks.

Our Annual Vacation Planning module keeps all information, from requests to approval status, in one place. Employees select the upcoming year’s vacation and the platform creates the schedule. This takes into account your organization’s pre-set rules (individual time off allowances, “black out” dates during peak times, etc.) to ensure no violations occur. What’s better is there is no more four-month long process.

Know Leave Expectations in Advance

Besides taking up time that could be utilized elsewhere, disjointed manual processes fail to provide company-wide transparency. With Indeavor, employees and employers alike can leverage a centralized system for submitting time off requests that provide enhanced visibility into everyone’s leave dates.

There are no more surprises, and the year-in-advance process means that supervisors can alleviate any potential bottlenecks before they happen.

  • Automatically track every keystroke and have a record of leave balances, approvals, and who is going to be absent and when
  • Ensure operations always run smooth by distributing employees’ vacations evenly throughout the year so that every team and shift is properly staffed
  • Settle employee and union grievances over paid time off with an audit log that shows approvals and denials

Our module facilitates a fair process for employees to request vacations. With “Active Pick”, employees can choose their preferred weeks/days in seniority order one by one. With “Open Enrollment”, everyone chooses at the same time and the requests are automatically approved or denied based on pre-set rules.

The Indeavor Solution

The only thing standing in the way of a vacation planning procedure that makes both your workers and organization happy is your outdated process. Interested in setting leave expectations early on without the headache of having to do everything by hand?

Click here to request a demo.

Indeavor’s solution offers clients an end-to-end, cloud-based employee scheduling and absence management system. By integrating with your human capital management and enterprise resource planning systems, you can leverage a robust platform that provides you with real-time employee data. Relieve your supervisors of manual tasks and the constant mental fatigue brought upon by scheduling changes by automating the entire process, connecting the data to all of your existing corporate systems, and ensuring you always have the right qualified employee in each position.