All global economy forecasts for 2020 made in 2019 was proven wrong due to the unforeseeable, unprecedented outbreak of COVID-19. The economic graph dropped to linearity from the point it was expected to rise further. So, to evolve and re-stabilize again, the only way out is to reboot the entire management system, including HR and its work procedures. The scenario stipulates change in HR suites, predominantly the leave and absence management systems. Hence future enhancements of the online leave management system with their relevant policies in compliance with the current crisis is one of the resorts to reformation.

Absence and leave management are two faces of the same coin in HR. Leave is an incentive that compensates absence to achieve Work-life balance. Many companies have abandoned the manual leave recording that involved paper, punch-in’s, and spreadsheets. These companies have adopted the leave management system(LMS) that automates the entire leave application, approval, and grant process within a company. Consequently, automation saves time and resources by allowing employees to focus on project completion. An additional advantage is the elimination of malpractices while processing and filing of leave records and leave documents. The traditional approach was not only tedious but also error-prone. With the global world being highly competitive automated LMS could save valuable time and its resources for other ventures.

Every leave management system is governed by leave policies, which are the set of rules, procedures, and guidelines proposed by organizations following federal and local laws. These policies govern the process, timeframes, and reporting procedures for the time taken off work in the form of annual leave, also referred to as vacation time or Paid Time Off (PTO).

A well-synchronized online leave management system that leverages its time off or vacation helps boost productivity, efficiency, morale, and get a competitive edge. The employees benefit through increased motivation to work, enhanced satisfaction, empowerment, and higher commitment to the organization.

The survey reports complied with the employees in U.S. illustrates that 64 percent of workers are in favor of time off or vacation. They expressed a renewed sense of purpose and energy in them. On the contrary, 42 percent of the employees reported denial of holidays or time offs.

The research proves that a poorly formulated leave policy of LMS in an organization impacts its project deliveries and employee morale negatively. Accrued leaves due to mismanagement and not having a proper tracking mechanism in place acts as a liability, adding on to the overheads incurred by an organization. Hence an automated online leave management system plays a crucial role in an organization’s growth and is inalienable.

Functional features such as Leave Application, leave inventory, Holiday updation, Team Leave Calendar makes the leave management system a vital component of the HR process. These synchronized modules can be accessed from any location, at any instance, with real-time data. The LMS provides end-to-end automation of the entire leave process, saving significant time and cost. It offers the real-time status of leaves available, prompts leave application status at various managerial levels to management, the employee, and peers governed by access rights and respective leave policy.

However, a standard leave management system cannot perform with the same accuracy and dynamism until it is upgraded with the environmental variables that substantially impact organizational work procedures. Therefore, any negligence or delay in upgrading LMS will adversely affect the company’s productivity.

HR trends in 2020 encountered some latest adaptations such as work from home (WFH) or Bring your own device (BYOD), which will soon be the new normal. Similarly, dealing with a crisis and designing COVID-19 Emergency Leave Policy is the need of the hour. Besides mandated sick leaves that adheres to the regional, government, and local policies, there will be an additional leave called sick leave due to COVID-19. Such amendments are applicable in every country’s legal rules of labor laws and the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). In addition to this, the San Francisco Bay Area declares a “shelter in place” requirement for the employees who cannot work remotely, which is the most recent concept introduced in HR.

To quickly and aptly respond to such changes, the online leave management system in current time needs to incorporate enhancements that meets and provides conditional provisions to deal effectively with situation such as COVID-19.

Here are the following features that would add value to leave management system, streamlining workflows, improving transparency all with seamless consistency.

1. AI based Predictive analysis for Project Management

AI tool offers the capability to integrate with biometric devices and record attendance. AI based chat-bot can answer employee’s queries and assist them with pay slip generation, attendance application &checking leave balances.

Derived reports could lead to quick decisions on resource allocation and leave grants. The analytical tools potentially illustrate the leave patterns, availability of the workforce, which directly affects the project delivery schedules. AI analytics can be a great guide to managers before they commit to the delivery date. They can access the peak leave periods and assign delivery dates accordingly. Also, when crucial projects are nearing deadlines, the AI pointers help managers approve leaves prudently.

2.Cloud-based LMS Deployment

In today’s mobility-driven workplace with concepts supporting REMOTE and BYOD, the centralized database system must be cloud compliant. They offer cross-platform operability, and GUI retrieved data that is accessible from any electronic device such as mobile, laptops, desktops, even tablets through wired or wireless connectivity.

This distributed deployment enables the employee to apply for leave from any part of the world at any time. Similarly, the real-time update will allow the manager to quickly respond to the application by accessing the criteria and options available concerning the prevailing project progress.

3.Time Tracking and Accounting

The objective of online LMS should not be merely assigning leave against absence. It must be capable of managing a leave calendar with its attributes in compliance with the organizational objective, employee size, geological location, and kind of production.

In any company, real-time trackers can benefit the worktime assessment of the employee. This feature is highly beneficial when daily work assessments concerning cost incurred are under consideration. In the case of holidays, half-day leaves, and half Pay, the time assessment determines the amount payable. If the organization demands shifts based production or service, then the leave management system must adhere to the shift rule predefined in the LMS.

4. Compliance to additional guidelines in Case of Crisis

Amazon’s new policy, for instance, about COVID-19, whoever has not tested yet but is presumptively positive will get up to fourteen days of paid time off.  The company has advised staying home, with Pay, for 14 days in self-quarantine to anyone who may be in contact with the diagnosed individual while at work. If any team members are unable to work a scheduled shift, they can use the unlimited unpaid time off throughout the month without penalty, is an indicator how quickly and drastically an organization has to make changes in its leave policy and tools to cope with crisis like COVID-19 and such.

COVID -19 emergency broke all the stereotypes and introduced a new dimension to leave with altered paid time off(PTO), stay home policy, and unlimited unpaid time off. It has forced the management and policymakers to redefine the leave structure and its applicability. During such an evolving crisis, the LMS should be radical and offer adaptability to accept amendments in the existing system.

Automated, enhanced online real-time leave management system as a subset of HR suite process features that can help accurate interpretations. Such features are enlisted as below:

1. Provision to add, update & delete leave policies

2. Facilitate online leave application and prompt approval or denial

3. The facility to plan and organize a holiday calendar on an annual basis

4. Analytical assessment of employee’s behavioral leave patterns

5. Leave management to increase the competency and productivity of the team for project completion.

The best online Leave Management Systems 2020 Imbibed with Enhanced Properties are as follows :

1. PeopleSoft

PeopleSoft is a software developed by Oracle Corporation. This online software accepts the leave request and approval status with ease. It is a cloud-based automated operating system, which extends great assistance to HR functionalities and dramatically reduces administrative costs.

2. ADP Leave Management System

ADP Leave Management System is a product developed by ADP India Pvt. Ltd. This software product is a web application that is robust and offers flexibility in leave policies, holiday management, and organization work calendar. It supports a wide range of leaves accompanied by their respective nature, such as short term and long term, including vacation, personal, paid time, loss of Pay.

3. Zoho People

Zoho People is the software developed by Zoho Corporation Pvt. Ltd. This is a cloud-based HR software that automates your HR procedures and focuses on people. It is technically accessible to implement. This software is perfect for small, medium, and enterprise businesses, Zoho People, offers all the industry needs and can be customized to work in its own environment. With a user-friendly interface and streamlined processes, Zoho People simplifies HR management.

In a nutshell

The future of effective and efficient employee leave management lies in the adoption of leave management systems that enables HR Managers to proceed further with the most suitable decision to a specific problem statement. Further, it is also essential to understand improvement applies to those that are scalable. Therefore, being able to perceive and measure the employee leave patterns correctly, can help you work towards making a definite improvement thus contributing to overall organizational growth and a content workforce.

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Supriya is a content writer focused on developing articles and blogs for Media organizations. Her genre is an insightful article on human resource management synchronized with tech trends in HR. These articles are not just for information but are tech optimized to engage their audience by delivering content that solves problems.
A belief that the world constitutes about 75% of readers, encourages her to write lucid, informative and useful content for the online platform. She has an adaptive writing skill that molds her content as per the requirement. Her articles are scalable as they blend past business references, their relevance in the present scenario and envisage business opportunities or threats.

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