If your company operates in several countries, you will be well aware of how complicated leave and absence management can become. At this point there are 2 options: either you handle it using complex-looking software (and let’s be honest: it is) or you never got round to automating it and you don’t know where to start. Since both options boil down to the same problem, i.e. “choosing the right software” and since each program has plenty of features, here are the 6 elements you must check when making your decision.
1/ Worldwide schedule visibility
The main objective in managing leave with a single program is simplifying teamwork. Everybody can see who is off and when. No matter where your employees are, they can plan their projects. It makes everything easier. A salesman in Europe knows if his co-workers in India are on vacation or in the office without waiting for automatic replies to his emails.
Furthermore, managers no longer have to report attendance: they will have more time for more important tasks.
2/ Leave request and approval on smartphones
The world of work is evolving, and so are the tools that teams use – smartphones are now a work tool in their own right. We want employees and managers to be able to answer emails from anywhere even if they are travelling, working remotely or in a meeting. Naturally, we could also expect them to be able to do the same for sending or approving time-off requests. Many programs have a powerful mobile application, but they might not always be user-friendly.
3/ Unlimited addition of legal entities
Global companies must act local while thinking global. In our case this means compliance with labor laws and accounting rules in each of the countries in which your company operates, through a single software program. The best way of doing so is dividing your company into multiple legal entities with their own rules.
So, when you are looking for a leave and absence solution, make sure it can handle all these local exceptions while keeping the process simple for you: one tool, multiple legal entities.
Some programs don’t distinguish between them, meaning everybody has the same, inadequate rules. Keep a look out for this.
4/ Export to specific payroll
From remaining days to vacation pay, payroll software must be linked to your leave management solution, yet often, each country has a different one. Your leave and absences solution should therefore interface with each payroll system that you use.
But let’s take a look at the format of these exports; they are often a simple Excel spreadsheet or a general format that doesn’t really match your needs. This can make you lose a lot of time. So, watch out, as it is often too late when you realize that your exports don’t work.
5/ Multilingual software
It may seem obvious, but it’s not. A large number of annual leave software programs are UK-oriented and therefore only available in English. If you really want your whole company to use it you must find a solution that is tailored to all your coworkers. Picture this: a Spanish R&D engineer whose boss works in the UK. When he requests leave he does it from his Spanish client but then the validation workflow triggered would be in English. Being able to set up the language in this way will clearly make the change easier (and we all know that change can be troublesome).
6/ Public holidays in each country
When it comes to managing annual leave, public holidays must be taken in account. But very few people know about specific public holidays outside their country. You may not be familiar with German public holidays, which vary depending on the state you work in. Therefore, having your leave and absence management software add them in automatically would be a great help.