Test Yourself! What Does Leave Management Say About Your Company?


“But I reported the leave to Pavol and he approved it.”

“But Pavol doesnt have the authority to approve your leave, and Jirka said he wanted you to finish the project.

“Am I supposed to cancel 80.000 CZK holiday and tell the kids that we‘re staying at home?

“Look, I‘m just telling you what Jirka said. Don’t you know you’re supposed to send the leave request to me for final approval after discussing it with the team leaders?”

“That‘s a mess.

“So, that‘s it.

It happens even in the best of families. With the last school bell ringing, colleagues often run in different directions and you can hear comments with slightly reproachful undertones.

“Where is Lenka today?”

“Is Mirek working from home or what? Leave? I dont know anything about it?”

“You mean Petra won‘t be at the workshop?

It’s the same with the messenger on the Czech Republic – the rest of the world route. It’s constantly clinging.

“Will you come today?”

“I know it‘s your day off, however, it’ll be fine if you’re there at least remotely!

“Sorry, I didn‘t notice that you’re off, but I really need those materials.

The result is clear. Grumpy managers, angry colleagues and interrupted processes. What’s more – this situation usually indicates completely unnecessary glitches in payroll accounting. Overall, it’s a sad report on the level of digitalisation of a key company process.

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Holiday as an important litmus paper

Leave reporting or rather the entire absence management, can be used as a measure of the level of your internal digitalisation and overall maturity of the process. Why? It’s simple. In order to get everything right, you engage several different but core company competencies. The maturity of software tools, work with data, work planning, discipline, internal process standardisation but also company culture or engagement and ownership of the team members.

After all, let’s test how your company is doing.

Reason 1 – digitalisation level

Do you have key information in Excel spreadsheets or maybe still in a paper form, or you simply can’t work with it? The issue of leave will reveal more about the level of digitalisation than you’d expect. Why? It’s all about relatively simple data that, at first sight, serves a limited number of colleagues. Moreover, they have clear seasonal peaks. There’s a tendency to “cheat” their collection as much as possible and to take antisystem approach. It’s easy to overlook their busyness – i.e. a crucial role in calculating a range of data metrics.”

What about you?

  • Everyone reports to their team leader as agreed, then, they don’t deal with them anymore – 1 point
  • Handling requests in paper form – 1 point
  • We have a shared excel spreadsheet or shared holiday calendar – 1 point
  • We have a specialised absence and leave reporting system – 2 points
  • We have an absence management as a part of HRIS – 4 points

Reason 2 – maturity in evaluating work efficiency

We can probably agree that whether or not you have 8 hours of manpower available is quite crucial to the performance of any company. Moreover, not just any manpower, but the specific colleague with specific competencies. Then, other chained processes depend on their presence or absence.

It’s surprising that only a minority of the companies are able to include absence management in their performance management. And not only plan according to them but also learn from them. In fact, monitoring the effectiveness connected with the absence of key colleagues – especially managers, team leaders and specialists – can tell us a lot about the dynamics of their role.

Does your company work with absence data?

  • No – 1 point
  • Yes, the data are provided to the accounting department – 2 points
  • Yes, we continue to work with them within HRIS – 4 points
  • The data are used for annual analysis of the efficiency of summer business activities – 5 points

Reason 3 – level of standardisation

Your colleague slipped away to holiday and you start getting stuck on unnecessary little things. No one knows about the state of their agenda and who is supposed to stand in for them. Colleagues and external co-workers aren’t informed of their absence. The appropriate OOO information isn’t set up on the e-mail – a number of essential details are missing, such as contact to colleagues who can be approached in their absence. Events and links to calls created by the colleague require them to connect. So, you try to find an alternative link at the last minute which you then send out to slightly impatient people waiting to connect.

Sound familiar? Colleagues going on holiday will significantly test your internal company protocol. In other words, you’ll find out if you’re running wild or if you have detailed rules that each colleague can follow.

  • We have no rules – 1 point
  • We have unwritten rules – 2 points
  • We have basic written rules – 3 points
  • We have clearly defined handover requirements – 4 points
  • We have an automated process to guide colleagues through it before going on holiday

– 5 points

Reason 4 – discipline and colleagues ownership

Going on holiday will also test the level of internal ownership. How much do colleagues care about smooth running and how much do they prefer “I’m a disaster” style? Do they naturally tend to prepare their clients for their absence or do they arrange work and processes in advance? Do they “clean” before leaving beyond the required standard or do they “drop the mouse” and they don’t care for a week or two?

  • The vast majority of colleagues don’t plan their processes before going on holiday – 1 point
  • The greater part of colleagues prepares everything before leaving – 2 points
  • The vast majority of colleagues ensure that everything is ready before leaving – 3 points
  • If someone doesn’t respect the rules (either written or unwritten) and doesn’t prepare their processes before leaving, the vast majority of colleagues consider it a foul towards others – 4 points

Reason 5 – team cooperation level

And then, here’s another software parameter. The level of internal cooperation and belonging to the team. It starts when searching the right date for holiday and includes the willingness to do small tasks or at least to “be on the phone”.

Attention! It’s necessary to mention that the company must always (but really always) approach working during holiday with humility and gratitude and certainly not consider it to be the standard. Motivation to start work conversation during holiday must be different from stress or negative pressure of duty – instead, it must arise from inner willingness or responsibility that are all positive emotions.

  • The vast majority of colleagues have no regard for the team – 1 point
  • A significant part of colleagues is willing to adjust holiday to suit the needs of the team – 2 points
  • The vast majority of colleagues ensure that timing of holidays doesn’t overlap – 3 points
  • It’s standard practice to arrange holidays so that they don’t clash – 4 points
  • It’s standard practice to arrange holidays so that they don’t clash and if we have to do some minor work during holiday, it’s not stressful for us – 5 points

Reason 6 – company mood

How are your colleagues when coming back from holiday? Are they full of experience? Do they share it at first Monday coffee and bring positive atmosphere of doing nothing and relaxation to the office? Are they keen on bringing gifts? Or do they just join the work process and the next day you wouldn’t know they were taking days off? Are they back with zest for work or are they under stress what happened while being absent?

All of these things can tell you more about your inner mood level that you might expect!

  • Colleagues come back full of energy and happy. It’s noticeable in their performance – 5 points
  • Colleagues are happy to come back – 4 points
  • Most colleagues come back rested but there are exceptions, of course – 3 points
  • Returning from holiday is usually not noticed in the company – 2 points
  • Seriously said “I’d like to stay there” after coming back, probably describes us the most – 1 point


6-10 points: Think about yourself. Seriously. Essential maintenance to basic processes and competencies is needed in your company. You’ll be pleased to know that you’ll recognise every step forward immediately and enjoy it.

11-18 point: A lot of things work well for you but you probably have some gaps in number of things. You’re apparently not out of the line with the Czech average. It should motivate you to move forward rather than stay where you’re now. The great news is that you’re not starting from scratch. A number of things are already well set up and it’s possible to bounce off them.

19-24 points: Great result! Your work with absences has given you a good report card. You’re most likely belong to above-average developed companies when it comes to internal processes. If your work lies behind it, then congratulations. Take a look at the section with the lowest score and try to improve it.

25-28 points: If you were honest, then congratulations. Drop us a line. We’d like to get to know your company and offer you the opportunity to share your experience on our blog.

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Absence management and HRIS – 5 key requirements

A good absence manager can’t do without good HRIS. How do you know that yours is the best? Let’s take a look at the absolute standard that every company should demand.

Simple request entry: Leave reporting must be as simple as possible. A few clicks to enter and a clear visualisation of the dates with respect to other colleagues is crucial: it helps to prevent troubles in scheduling. The more complex the leave entry is, the less willing people will be to work with the system.

Approval workflow: Requests should go through a clear approval process. Every manager or team leader, who is related to it, is involved in the process. This process should be supported by the ability to attach comments, documents or documentation.

Monitoring of balances and fonds: The system should automatically monitor the available leave balance of each employee. It shouldn’t allow it to be overdrawn beyond the limit. It’ll make your payroll accounting work much easier.

Flexible reports and summaries: HR department should have reporting tools that allow monitoring of taking leave and leave balance, integration with attendance and time tracking. These reports should be configurable according to your company’s needs. An absolute basis for evaluating effectiveness.

All clear in your mobile phone: Ergonomics mustn’t be only on the employee’s part but also on the side of those who approve leave request and work with absences. The system should support a mobile app. It shouldn’t present unnecessary bureaucracy.

Don’t underestimate absence management

Bottom line. If you’re looking for some interesting impulses to move forward during summer, then make absence management a priority. It won’t only serve you well over holiday season, it’ll also help you keep an eye on efficiency throughout the year. HR department should keep things in order, especially if it’s about its own people.