Summer is quickly approaching, and with it comes the annual wave of paid time off (PTO) requests from employees.
An influx of time off requests is often a headache for managers, HR, and finance teams in small and medium-sized businesses. This is especially true considering nearly 94% of these businesses still rely on manual processes such as passing paper forms from desk to desk or exporting fillable PDFs via email.
Thankfully, automated workflows and web forms offer a streamlined solution for managing PTO requests. This allows employees to enjoy their time off while relieving managers of the administrative hassles associated with a manual process.
In this blog, we’ll discuss how DocuPhase’s robust workflow and forms solution can help your business expedite approval requests, eliminate unsecured paper trails, capture data more effectively, and improve visibility into the process.
1. Approve Requests Quickly
In a paper-based or manual process, requesting time off involves printing, filling, signing, and transferring request forms between departments, either on paper or via email as a PDF. This creates tedious administrative tasks that can consume nearly 73% of your team’s time and cause delays in employees' vacation planning.
Businesses can solve these challenges with online request submissions that automatically route to managers for approval. This streamlined approach enables faster and more efficient approvals, requiring just a few clicks upon receiving a request. Automating the approval process reduces the time and effort required for approvals, providing a better experience for employees and freeing up time for managers to focus on critical tasks.
2. Eliminate Unsecured, Easy-to-Lose Paper Trails
Paper-based time-off request systems can also be lost or misplaced, causing confusion and miscommunication between employees and managers.
This is not just an inconvenience, but a potential cause for legal penalties due to non-compliance with federal and local labor laws that mandate precise record-keeping.
Implementing a workflow and forms solution simplifies your PTO tracking process and ensures accurate and accessible records. With 36% of business leaders recognizing the effectiveness of digital processes in ensuring data security and compliance, this approach offers a valuable opportunity to streamline your operations while minimizing potential risks.
Web form solutions allow businesses to create custom forms and workflows that are tailored to specific compliance mandates, as well. For example, businesses can set up workflows that ensure compliance with FMLA by requiring medical leave documentation to be attached to form submissions.
By integrating with HR systems and other databases, businesses can also synchronize PTO requests and approvals with their existing record-keeping systems. This ensures readiness for compliance audits of labor laws, including state and local sick leave laws.
3. Capture Data Accurately Upfront
Manually entering time off requests into multiple systems can result in errors and inaccuracies, which can lead to further delays and confusion. For finance teams, this might include inaccurate payroll processing or employee benefit calculations, which lead to increased administrative costs.
Automating the process with a web form and workflow solution that integrates with other systems can help eliminate these risks. Employees can enter time off requests directly into web forms that populate with information from HR and payroll systems, reducing manual data entry and associated errors.
With accurate PTO records, businesses can better plan their staffing needs and resource allocation, avoiding understaffing or overstaffing. This also eliminates unnecessary administrative efforts in error reconciliation, making data capture upfront more efficient and reliable.
4. Improve Visibility into Time Off Requests
Without a centralized system for time off requests, it can be difficult to track and analyze employee time off patterns and trends. Businesses might find themselves unexpectedly short-staffed if managers are approving PTO requests without insight into other staff absences.
Automation allows businesses to generate reports on employee time off requests, giving managers up-to-date information on who is out of the office and when. It also allows you to send automated notifications to managers when new requests are submitted and to employees when their requests are approved or denied. This provides increased visibility into the status of time off requests and ensures that managers are aware of any staffing gaps that need to be filled.
Whether it’s the approaching summer months or any time throughout the year, time off requests shouldn't be a headache. Automating your process with DocuPhase's robust workflow and forms solution can help your business save time, reduce administrative costs, and prevent legal risks.
To learn more about how DocuPhase can help your business streamline employee time off requests and improve overall efficiency, chat with an automation expert.