With a fresh year just around the corner and the fiscal year drawing to a close, many companies are looking for palpable ways to improve—after all, New Year’s resolutions are for businesses too! In 2023, why not reconsider how you manage PTO?
While using good ol’ spreadsheets, paper, or other manual processes to track PTO has its benefits (like being quick to setup, and free), it can rapidly become very labour-intensive, time-consuming, and even counterproductive.
In 2020, when the pandemic was just months old, TrustRadius found that 14% of businesses had increased their spending on time tracking tools in response to a sudden uptick in remote employees. But while the rise of PTO tracking software can be partly attributed to the ever-growing need to monitor remote employees, many employers also find it improves overall productivity, in part by reducing the number of hours per day spent on data entry.
With good reason, the global time tracking software market is growing continuously and is forecasted to expand at a compound annual growth rate of 20.40% from 2021 to 2028.
Signs it’s time to upgrade to PTO tracking software
If you’ve been tracking PTO with paper, pen, and sticky notes for years without incident, you may still want to ask yourself whether there is any indication that you should reevaluate your methods.
Consider the following 4 signs that PTO tracking software may be in the cards:
1. Employees are dissatisfied with current processes.
After health insurance, employees rank paid vacation as their second most-valued benefit. Employees who feel that their employer encourages PTO report higher job satisfaction, engagement, and motivation, in turn leading to greater productivity and fewer unnecessary absences.
But if your staff need to consult HR every time they want to know their PTO balance or confirm a new vacation plan, your current tracking system is lacking finesse. Employees need to have independent access to necessary time off info, and be able to schedule a leave on their own time.
In the absence of such options, they tend to grow impatient with management. And in times of workplace disruption (i.e spikes in remote work, challenges to work/life balance, increased likelihood of illness, economic uncertainty, etc.), proper PTO management processes are more crucial then ever.
2. Tracking PTO is taking time away from other work.
Particularly if your company is still using manual data collection and processing, chances are that your time is not being used efficiently. It can take many hours to manually coordinate all team members’ time off, calculate PTO balances, and review each request.
Valuable time spent on tedious PTO tracking is very likely taking away from the big-picture, business-sustaining sort of work necessary to the thriving of your organization! Additionally, when you respond to leave requests too slowly (because the process is inherently slow, or because a request got lost in your chaotic inbox), it only further alienates employees.
3. Your fiscal year-end is a nightmare.
At first glance, the pencil and paper method may seem the most affordable option, but it’s not always the case. While it may not involve costly technology, it’s susceptible to costly errors. Whether it’s indecipherable handwriting, misplaced timecards, or calculation bungles, human error can lead significant financial loss.
In fact, the calculation error rate can be as high as 8% of total payroll in organizations that use paper time tracking. Perhaps the best thing about technology is that it has eliminated many of these problems.
If you’ve graduated from paper to Excel, know that while spreadsheets are incredibly useful, they weren’t designed to efficiently manage PTO policies either—it still takes a ton of work to ensure everyone’s balances, accruals and carry-overs are correct.
Ultimately, the right tracking software can transform your fiscal year-end from a nightmare of drudgery to a fleeting dream, offering built-in customer support, easy access, and quick answers—in short, a brave new world.
4. Your company is planning to hire more people.
It’s simple, really: the larger your team, the more time it takes to manage time off data by hand. If you have any plans to grow or improve your business, optimizing your inner workings for greater efficiency should be at the top of your list.
Even if you’ve gotten by via manual tracking methods up until now, the successful growth of your company comes with demands far beyond extra PTO tracking work. New hires require onboarding, training, new equipment, additional one-on-ones, and much more. And that’s not counting the resources necessary to increase your company’s output.
In other words, there has never been a more suitable time to streamline operations; turning your business into a well-oiled machine that uses modern-day PTO tracking software will ensure that you’re not leaking valuable funds or other resources needed to expand and generate further successes!
How to tell if the switch is worth it
For those still hesitant to upgrade due to cost, there are tangible ways to measure whether it’s worth it or not—your ROI can be highly educational.
In the process of determining whether investing in PTO tracking software is worth it or not, be sure to consider the following costs:
- The cost of dissatisfied employees. Companies that don’t have an employee absence management plan in place lose an average of $775 per employee, per year. Employees in workplaces without proper tracking processes, as mentioned, are simply less satisfied and therefore less engaged—the right tracking software is a sure way to mitigate this loss and increase productivity via improved morale and greater engagement.
- The cost of time spent tracking PTO. Biodynamic Research Corporation (BRC) went from spending an average of 7-8 hours a week on manual leave management to spending mere minutes after automating their processes with PurelyHR. If tracking PTO is but one portion of your job, try calculating the amount of time you spend on it weekly, monthly, or annually—and then multiply that by your hourly wage. One company showed that they saved more than $22,000 in their very first year of using time tracking software (HubStaff Blog, 2021).
PurelyHR PTO tracking
A PTO tracking tool is a modern solution for tracking employee paid leave, and it provides countless benefits to employers, HR managers, and employees alike.
These benefits include but are not limited to: time off transparency (employees can access their balance anytime), quicker turnarounds (requests are sent and approved with the click of a button), and the elimination of human error (important renewals and calculations are automated).
While there are of course many software solutions to choose from, PurelyHR is truly ideal for those upgrading from paper or spreadsheets for the first time.
- Simple implementation plus free account setup
- Free unlimited technical support with every subscription
- The option to only pay for the features you need—so there’s no need to break the bank