August 10, 2021

Building a Business Case for Leave Management Software

Are you the “time off manager” at your company? Whether you run your own business or manage employee time off for your boss, you’re likely familiar with the tedious and stressful challenge of scheduling and managing leave for staff.

No one loves having to decide who gets Thanksgiving or Christmas Day off. But that unwelcome task barely scratches the surface of the complexities of trying to manually prioritize leave requests against staffing needs.

It’s a good bet that leave management software could make your job easier. But is it simply a luxury or can it also help pay for itself in more tangible ways?

It’s time to calculate the ROI of leave management software to help build your business case. Here’s where to start.

A Time-Off Manager Reduces FMLA Compliance & Human Error Risks

Since 1993, the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) has mandated that employers provide employees with job-protected, unpaid leave for qualifying medical and family reasons. FMLA cases require careful tracking to ensure compliance, but it can be difficult to track when, for example, employees stretch their 12 allowed weeks into intermittent blocks of hours or days.

When building a business case for leave management software, compliance is one of your most valuable proof points. Improper leave policies can put an organization at risk for non-compliance lawsuits, which consume significant time and strain the work environment. And managers and supervisors can be held personally liable for damages.

Fines by the US Department of Labor (DOL) can range from $110 for each violation to hundreds to thousands of dollars. One study reported that in 2018, “about 52% of investigations were initiated not from employee complaints, but by the DOL. These investigations cost employers over $334 million in back wages for more than 313,941 workers.” 3

The cost of potential FLMA non-compliance without a time-off manager is incalculable. (With a time-off managers, the cost approaches $0.) However, the average cost of human error, including misunderstanding policies or processes, has been estimated at $624 per year per employee.1

Calculate the potential cost of human error to your company by multiplying your number of employees by $624.

The potential cost of human error:

# of employees * $624

Remember this is an average; actual damages may be much higher.

Time-off managers keep employers compliant, easily tracking all types of employee leave, even in the public sector or for organizations that hire union workers.

“Leave Bidding” Automatically Creates Time-Off Priorities … and Saves You Time and Money

Trying to manually create equitable time off is complex and confusing. How do you factor in seniority, order of request, current and future accruals, PTO expiration time frames and different types of leave? It’s impossible to accurately integrate all these details without a system tracking it automatically.

Wondering how it works? TCP’s TimeClock Plus software offers a Leave Bidding feature that guards against the possibility of too many time-off requests for a particular day. This is especially important when employees in 24/7 organizations, such as public safety, healthcare and emergency response, must compete for holiday time off.

Leave Bidding allows employees to submit requests for planned time off, bidding on future periods. Leave requests are then ranked or prioritized according to the preferences you configure for your organization upon initial setup and automated thereafter. Requests are approved based on the rules set by your organization as well as your employees’ priorities. For example, the system will award leave to a Priority One bid (i.e., an employee’s wedding over someone else’s requested vacation day.)

The system blacks out dates that have already reached the maximum number of leave requests and allows employees to add their names to standby lists. In an integrated system, approved time-off is automatically added to the employees’ schedule. Managers are freed from the time-consuming challenge of manual leave scheduling. The workforce scheduler automatically does the work for you in the most transparent and equitable way possible, freeing you up to focus on higher-value projects.

Leave Management Software Impacts Your Culture … and Your Bottom Line

Leave management software creates value that impacts an organization’s culture and thus, bottom line.

Visibility into the system assures employees that their time-off requests are being considered without favoritism or bias. That matters because favoritism is just one personnel challenge that takes a toll on the organization.

A Central Michigan University study revealed that 47% of American employees reported that their supervisor had favorites. Not surprisingly, perceived favoritism results in lower morale and productivity in those less favored, but on the other hand, it doesn’t necessarily serve the favored. They report higher levels of emotional exhaustion, intentions to leave and conflict with coworkers.2

Tensions in work culture have a direct impact on absenteeism, turnover, productivity and team cohesion. Project outcomes can suffer and eventually decrease the competitive advantage of an organization. Effectively managing leave can ensure a fair playing field for leave and reduce tension and frustration related to the leave management process.

Workforce Scheduling Improves Attendance, Productivity and Compliance

Optimized employee scheduling enables employers to align their workforce with the needs of the business. Shifts that are consistently staffed are key to managing labor costs, boosting employee satisfaction and maximizing productivity. Workforce scheduling software is essential for worry-free compliance, extraordinary time savings and elimination of leave management headaches.

Complete your business case for workforce scheduling software by downloading “The Ultimate Leave Management Guide” and get a free quote for leave management software that is configurable to the needs of your business.


1 Human Error as A Strategic Risk Management Concern