Like most retail business owners, you’re always looking for ways to make your organization run more smoothly. Perhaps one of the most important (but often overlooked) ways to do this is by implementing a Time Off Bidding system. Implementing the right system can help reduce time off confusion and chaos while ensuring that everyone gets the vacation they deserve.
What is time off bidding?
Time Off Bidding is the process where employees select, compete, or collaborate for desired leave or vacation time off. Employees submit requests based on organizational criteria such as seniority or priority.
The idea behind bidding for vacation is to provide employees with a sense of fairness through participation in the scheduling process. However, it is up to managers to decide what is fair and what is in the interests of the business.
Time-off bidding is also referred to as leave bidding, vacation bidding, and absence requests. Time-off requests are a common challenge all businesses, public sector, private sector, unionized, and non-unionized—must face.
Manual Vacation Bidding Process
In a manual system, employees fill out vacation forms or simply write down desired time-off and submit the request to their manager. The manager reviews all employee time-off bids and either approves or denies the request based on business needs.
Note: The manual process is time-consuming and inefficient and usually does not lead to fair bid outcomes.
Types of Leave/Time-off Request
The type of leave helps managers prioritize which requests to grant or decline. The most common leave request include:
- Health/Disability – Sickness, illness, surgery, etc.
- Break from Work
- Jury Duty
- Leave of Absence (Short or Long Term)
Using TimeWellScheduled’s app or accessing the employee website:
- As an employee, to add time off, select the ‘Absence Request’ button.
- Select the correct month and day on the calendar and click the ‘Add Request’ link.
- On the add request page, select the reason and add any comments you wish to share. Click Add.
- When you click add, the person you report to will receive an alert that you have requested time off.
Requests are recorded as pending and require managers to approve or decline. Employees are alerted when either of these actions happens.
The Importance of Fair Scheduling Practices
In general, fair scheduling ensures employees have adequate time to rest and manage their personal lives between shifts. In addition, it improves work-life balance, reduces stress and the potential for burnout.
Fair scheduling and time-off bidding practices are crucial as they lead to happier, more productive employees. According to the Stable Scheduling Study Report, employee productivity increases by 5% when scheduling is consistent, stable and fair. When employees have confidence in the schedule, they are punctual, well rested, and ready for work.
In sum, fair scheduling practices significantly impacts how employees feel about their job and workplace. An equitable schedule can be the difference between someone liking their job or voluntarily leaving it. Conversely, a poorly designed schedule means employees will spend their off-time looking elsewhere for employment.
Time-off Bidding & Leave Management Policy
Having a Time-off request policy in place is vital to help streamline and clarify the process of requesting and granting time off. The policy should include details of:
- how far in advance requests must be submitted,
- how often one can request time off,
- circumstances wherein time-off requests will or will not be granted,
- a method of handling conflicting requests
- how many employees are allowed off during the same time period
- The policy must comply with employment law
A clearly communicated policy sets out expectations and allows employees to understand the process, procedure, and general rules regarding annual vacation bidding or time-off bidding. Lastly, time-off requests must be granted in a way that is fair.
Note: unfair administration of time-off policy, rules, and procedures will damage employee morale and eventually lead to voluntary turnover. In contrast, a fair system keeps employees engaged!
If you’re looking for a way to make your organization run more smoothly, consider implementing a TimeWellScheduled’s time and attendance system. TimeWellScheduled supports your staff management and scheduling capabilities by:
- Simplifying the time-off bidding & scheduling process
- building your staff schedules easier, faster, and more accurately.
- Allowing you to spend valuable time on more important things.
- Ensuring legal compliance
Not only will this help reduce time off confusion and chaos, but it will also ensure everyone gets the vacation they deserve.
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