Despite the seductive lure of paid time off, studies show that 55 percent of Americans did not use their earned vacation days in 2015. In addition, 80 percent of workers say that they likely would take more time off if they had their manager’s full support. While bosses do play a part in encouraging employees to take time off, the role of technology is no less significant. The right employee self-service (ESS) tool can streamline and simplify your PTO processes, which ultimately yields greater productivity.
The Importance of Taking PTO
There are multiple benefits to taking paid time off, but employees still need some convincing. They may think, “No one else can do my work.” Or, “I’ll be swamped with work after returning from vacation.” However, studies show that:
- Employees who use all of their vacation days stand a 6.5 percent greater chance of getting a promotion or raise than those who left 11 to 15 days unused.
- Well-planned vacations lead to a more positive, engaged brains and more happiness and energy at work, resulting in higher productivity.
Effects of Self-Service on Employee Engagement
The above-stated reasons employees don’t take PTO are based on typical scenarios. What’s not so immediately obvious is the processes of requesting and issuing PTO, and their impact on employee engagement.
Before the advent of newer HR technology, employees generally had to check with their manager or HR department for their available time off. Managers had to dig deep to see PTO histories. Employees with negative PTO balances were taking and getting paid for time off they hadn’t earned. The system was in dire need of improvement.
Now, by leveraging self-service technology, organizations can increase autonomy, employee responsibility and employees’ input into time-off decision-making, all of which drive employee engagement.
Impact of ESS on PTO Processes
Searching for insurance information and requesting PTO are, respectively, the top time-saving uses of ESS, according to a 2015 survey by Software Advice. A good ESS system saves time by providing employees with answers to time-off questions and allowing managers to respond efficiently to PTO requests. The ESS portal is essentially a “storefront” or “one-stop shop” that delivers accurate results and eliminates frustration.
- see their assigned PTO accruals
- view recorded time taken and available balance
- easily submit and track the status of time-off requests
- access company PTO policies
Employee self-service vastly reduces the burden of paperwork, while increasing the ability to control and approve PTO processes. In the end, the simplicity and pro-engagement nature of an ESS can make employees more confident in requesting time off.