Illustration of a woman layingon the beach using her phone

Working in HR, I’m sure you’re aware of the benefits of employee self-service for you. Less time wasted on data entry, or answering endless questions from colleagues about holiday entitlements, sick days taken or processes that need to be followed.

But how does it feel from the employee’s perspective? Here’s my take on holiday management from where I sit – currently at home with a coffee to hand, and a connection to the office.

In times of old, requesting holiday would generally have meant having to wait until I was in the office and had the chance to hand in a form to HR or my line manager. I’d then keep my fingers crossed that it would make its way through the appropriate approval process and, at some point in the not too distant future, would get signed off and I could go ahead and book flights, accommodation and all the rest.

Today, thanks to Cezanne HR’s mobile interface, it is far easier. Here are the four steps I take:

1. Check How Much Holiday I Have Left

When it comes to thinking about booking time off either as a single day or for a specific trip, you will rarely find me at my desk or laptop. It is much more likely holiday plans will come up over a glass or two of something bubbly with friends. But do I have enough holiday left to squeeze in one week of bliss—or stretch it to two—and still have time to spend with the family over Christmas? It is easy to answer these questions by checking the app. In just a swipe or two, I can see how much holiday I have taken, and how much I still have left to use.

2. Check Team Calendars

However, before I can confidently check out flights and start buying up the travel toiletries aisle, I need to check that I can actually take the dates I want off. I’m part of a busy team, so I need to check that colleagues can cover for me, otherwise I know that my request will be rejected anyway. By swiping through the team calendar, I can see the dates that my colleagues are away on holiday, training or other activities, and what dates are free.

3. Submit Holiday Request

So now the easy bit. Just pick the dates I want to take off, and hit submit. Behind the scenes, the absence management software automatically sends the request to my manager. If they happen to be by their phone (or working late) at the time, approval is just as simple. As soon as they hit the approve button, the system is updated to show the time I’m taking off, and my remaining entitlement, and I’ll get a notification to let me know everything is OK. Leaving me the rest of the evening to book the best deal and browse for holiday essentials.

But wait a minute… all the flights for the dates we have chosen have now sold out, and I will need to change the week I’m taking off?!?!

4. Re-submit an Absence Request

What would appear to be a bit of a nightmare really isn’t. By going into the app, I can review my absence requests, submit a request to delete the one with the dates that don’t fit and submit a new request with the correct dates. I can even add a note for my manager, so they’ll know why I want to make the change.

So in the space of 10 minutes I have been able to book my annual leave, without even leaving the company of my friends.

Now just need to discuss our hunt for the perfect pair of sunglasses.

Pool drinks - Sam Harden


Sam Harden author image

Sam Harden