Building a holiday approval workflow that keeps everybody in the loop

September 18, 2017

holiday approval workflow that

Our Autumn 2017 release gives you the freedom to build holiday approval workflows, with multiple authorisers, and an automated chain of approval. This will help you solve problems like:

  • Having to wait to approve a holiday while you run the date by somebody else
  • Turning up to an empty room because a junior manager approved too many holidays
  • Manually re-directing holiday requests to cover a line manager’s annual leave

But before I explain how this will work in practical terms, let me tell you a quick story to highlight one of the reasons why we’re adding this new type of workflow.

What happens when you don’t have an efficient holiday approval workflow

I have many memories of working in a call centre. But one of my most vivid, is how chaotic the holiday approval process was. You see, I had to submit my holiday requests to the Operations Manager – but in reality, I reported to several other people, too.

The problem was, that when the Operations Manager approved a holiday, he often found out later that the Floor Manager – who I also reported to – needed a specific headcount on that particular date. And then you have to factor in team leaders. These managers really needed to know who was working when, so that they could do things like arrange adequate cover.

To solve this, the Operations Manager stopped approving holidays until he had first checked in with the floor manager, and then the team leaders. But this wasted a lot of his precious time. And because it could take up to a week, it often left me with no time to actually plan my holiday.

How we’re making your holiday approval process more visible, more flexible, and more accountable

Visibility, flexibility and accountability are the three big things our customers asked for when we talked to them about ways to improve the holiday approval process. This is because teams are often run by more than one manager – sometimes three or four.

With our Autumn release, you’ll be able to set up holiday approval rules that include multiple approvers. Each approver will have full visibility of who’s requesting holidays, as well as who’s approving them. Plus, you can customise your workflow depending on how your business operates:

  • Anyone can approve. Setting your workflow so that any authoriser can approve a holiday is a great way of maintaining a seamless holiday approval process, where you don’t need to redirect holiday requests just because the main manager isn’t available.
  • All must approve. If more than one manager will be affected by a holiday decision, then the simple answer is to require each assigned authoriser to approve the holiday before it’s booked into the employee’s planner. This saves you having to send emails or make phone calls before hitting the approve button – once every manager hits approve, the holiday gets booked.
  • Approve in order of authority. Some companies require a tiered system of approval that works its way up the chain of authority. For example, the line manager can decide whether the holiday request is OK on their end, before submitting it for final approval by the head of department.

This forthcoming feature has been developed in response to customer feedback, and many of our customers are eager to start building their own holiday approval workflows. Take our customer Valeriya, for example.

ESforce looks forward to cutting out unnecessary emails

Valeriya Maletskaya, is the talent manager at ESforce, an eSports company based in Ukraine. At Valeriya’s company, holiday requests require two levels of authorisation before they can be approved.

“The line manager needs to approve the request first, followed by the head of department” she explains. “This is how our company works. But until now, we were using work email to get department head sign-off, before approving the holiday request. The new approval workflow feature will let our business approve all holidays within the system, instead of relying on other, less reliable communication methods.”

We’re very excited to see how you use this feature when it goes live very soon. Is this going to help your business? Let us know in the comments below.


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