Summer Blog Series (Part 2):
Paid Time Off - Eliminating Administrative Burdens Through PTO Automation
As we mentioned in our first post in this four part series on Paid Time Off, statistically speaking, PTO is the most highly utilized employee benefit. Makes sense, right? For this very same reason, management of PTO can also be a real burden for an already swamped HR department, most especially if PTO is still being managed in a manual, non-automated fashion.
The reason for this is simple: employees don’t do a good job of keeping track of the time they’ve taken. This seems to be true even when the accrued amount is posted on each paystub ;) The problem compounds when there are multiple "paid time off" accounts such as vacation days, sick days, bereavement days, etc.
For the average HR department, working from a paper system, the response time for a time off request could take a day or more while the HR representative checks their worksheets or refers the request to the accounting department. Either way, it’s time consuming for one or two employees to get the answer in a timely manner...and time is money.
Manually tracking of benefits can be contentious at best. All it takes is one mistake, be it a forgotten entry or a data entry error, for the accrual and usage accounting to cause strife and ill will. Ask those who have experienced working in both manual and automated environments, and they will agree that while time tracking is a fundamental and fairly simple task, it is full of problems when done manually. Non-HR managers are inconsistent or forgetful, not willfully, but from a point of job focus.
Hands down, the best way to manage PTO these days is through online automation, which provides for the following benefits:
- It allows you to free-up your HR department. Instead of having to spend countless hours keying information, a few simple mouse clicks will be all that’s required to manage the PTO process.
- You’ll see an increase is productivity and moral. Not only are your HR employees free to get more done, they’ll also be more motivated to work. When people feel like they’re a being productive and really accomplishing goals, their moral improves.
- Thirdly, you’ll introduce precision into the process, most especially as the rate of human error drops. And with precision comes simplicity.
- And lastly, you’ll be adding a layer of security to your efforts. When automating PTO, you’ll be backing up your data on online servers, ensuring that in a fire or computer failure, you won’t lose years of important information. You’ll therefore reduce liabilities, since HR errors can lead to tax issues, legal troubles and unnecessary expenses.
At the JP Griffin Group, we offer employee benefits administration software with a completely complimentary online PTO management system that allows employers to fully customize PTO policies to match existing company policies and culture. Employers can offer vacation days, sick days, personal days, work-from-home days and more. They can adjust the accrual rates for each employee, and can reward loyal employees with tenure-based PTO at the start of a calendar year, on the anniversary of their hire date, and much more.
With our system, employers can:
- Customize PTO to match company policies and holidays
- Approve employee PTO requests in seconds
- View employee-level PTO history
- Establish multiple PTO accruals by class
- Offer length of service awards
- Work with multiple accrual options (annual, monthly, none, etc.)
- Easily make balance adjustments
And with our system, employees can:
- Request PTO in seconds
- View available PTO
- View PTO history and team calendars
Of course one of the greatest benefits to automating PTO is the “draw” such a feature adds to your online HR portal. There’s simply no better way to condition your workforce to visit your online HR portal on a regular basis. And smart HR departments harness this “online employee audience recirculation opportunity” to promote other important HR initiatives, including wellness programs, training, and general awareness of other company announcements. If you’d like to learn more about our online PTO and vacation management tools, please don’t hesitate to reach out.
And be sure to be on the lookout for our third installment in this series which will focus on frequently asked questions (FAQs) about PTO policies and procedures. And in the fourth and final part in our series, we’ll discuss some recent and notable trends in PTO and well as some new and novel approaches to the concept of time off.