A Generous Leave Policy – Shaken, Not Stirred

Healthy and well rested employees inherently contribute to building a healthy business. A key to put this into practice is by adopting a comprehensive leave structure. Let’s take the case of the renowned ‘Agent 007’. With all the current news about the 007 mantle being passed on to a woman, a historic move to say the least, we got to thinking about how James Bond’s propensity to take long breaks helps prepare for his (soon to be her!) physically and mentally demanding missions! Throughout his numerous attempts at saving the world from snarky bad guys, Bond often takes vacations for some much-needed mindfulness and rejuvenation, sometimes while he’s on the job itself! And while these breaks aren’t always the most effective, (Skyfall being a case in point), they certainly allow him to find his balance and perform better in upcoming missions.

 In a similar manner, by taking a break, employees get an opportunity to re-energise and keep themselves fresh. A simple holiday can enable employees to deal better with stress and additional responsibilities. Smaller breaks while at work are also important to avoid feeling burnt-out. Encouraging leaves is advantageous for both individual employees and the company itself. The more satisfied individual workers are, the less of a problem absenteeism is going to be. Even the best and most productive of your employees should be encouraged to take a break, to avoid burnout and keeping them ready for new challenges. A change of scenery can provide some essential inspiration. Irrespective of the destination, holidays are likely to be spent in locations markedly different from the workplace. They’ll also offer new experiences and encounters that will inspire employees and enable them to come up with creative solutions. The positive atmosphere that such employees generate can boost morale in the entire team.

Daniel Craig as James Bond
007. That’s both his secret agent number as well as the number of annual leaves he’s allocated in a Calendar Year.
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It is safe to say that leaves are beneficial. But what other tangible advantages do they provide to the organisation? And what is the best way to manage your company’s leave policy? After all, despite his obvious flair and inherent talent for saving the world repeatedly, James Bond is not the ideal employee. You wouldn’t want such a liberal leave policy that employees just go rogue, taking leaves without accountability, gambling at casinos and lounging at beaches willy-nilly! Before we tackle the second problem statement, how about we take a shot at deciphering the importance of enforcing leaves through the eyes of 007!?

Helps Maintain and Increase the Level of Performance

While humans are often romanticised as machines with an unending capacity for repetitive performance, it’s easy to forget that they’re not, especially in cutthroat industries. Even the most highly skilled workers need breaks to maintain their level of productivity. What may otherwise be a simple task that you’ve been doing for decades can quickly turn into a jumbled, unfamiliar mess if you’ve spent too long on it. A change of pace, of environment, of daily routines can work wonders in imbuing employees with renewed enthusiasm and determination! After all, with all the skyscraper-jumping and fist-fighting that James Bond does, not taking proper time-off to recuperate would likely leave him with an extremely brittle bone structure and nobody wants that in an agent in Her Majesty’s service!

Enhances Company Culture

Trust between the employer and employee is vitally important, and while it can be gained via several means (good pay, flexible working hours, autonomy etc.), the provision of a friendly leave policy indicates a sense of care and belonging to the employees. No one should ever feel afraid of submitting a time-off request. If they are, there’s something wrong. Therefore, building a culture that values holiday, but which is also transparent in the way it is distributed, granted and encouraged is the key to success. Employee friendly policies are extremely important, as their satisfaction level is the true reflection of the organisation’s growth. If employees feel taken care of, they’re likely to put in more effort and work more efficiently, leading to higher productivity. They ultimately end up reinforcing the company culture and exhibit a sense of pride and care when representing the company outside.

Above: Your Employees, every day at work, once they get a generous leave policy!
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All Said and Done, it’s Essential to Tie Generous Leaves to a Clear Leave Management Policy 

Imagine a scenario where you’ve finally landed the project you’d been trying to secure since ages. Now it’s time to get to work. But your most important employees are on a much-deserved vacation. Or multiple leave requests have been approved, but they’re all for the same time period. A lot of these scenarios are more prone to arise in an organisation where an effective Leave Management system as part of an HRMS platform is not implemented. What can you do in such a situation? How do you decide which application to approve and which to reject, especially when you are not privy to a wealth of information at an employee-level which might help you make an informed decision? Key to avoiding such instances is adopting a clear and accountable leave policy and ensuring extremely transparent communication between team members. When teams show responsibility by covering for their colleagues while they take time off and have their consideration reciprocated, everyone walks out of a potential messy situation happy. Cross-functional training and alignment between different departments provides the organisation with the flexibility of deploying the same talent in multiple teams for short durations, if needed, while some employees are on leave.

Of course, the usage of a leave management system together with the aforementioned policy can resolve many of these issues. An LMS integrated with a comprehensive HRMS platform can provide proper information about leave policies, past leave requests, leave approval workflow, current leave balance, and the team’s time-off calendar. When in a fix, companies can also use additional information if needed to select between competing requests. All of this can follow the company’s existing leave policy, making things more convenient all around. Luckily, Qandle helps with just that. Visit our website to know more about it!

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