“Our culture”. That’s the answer you’ll find yourself giving to the most competitive candidates; the ones that everyone wants and is willing to pay the highest salary to. The fact is that in today’s climate, with certain skill sets climbing rapidly in popularity and becoming more in demand, it takes more than a salary to lure the best talent. But company culture isn’t just stated, it needs to be cultivated with company policies. Policies that reflect modern cultural sensitivities, and can b clearly seen reflected in your employee pool and and HR systems, make you much more likely to convert top candidates into top employees
When top candidates look for work, apart from salary the most lucrative benefits are those that account for their time, with one of the top ones being flexible annual leave. This survey from Talentlocker states it clearly:
60% of candidates say that benefits and perks are a major factor when considering a job offer.
This has only been exaggerated in recent months, with employees being conscious of work-life balance due to the pandemic and being unwilling to give up their newfound flexibility, and instead, expecting their employers (both current and new) to match these expectations. In fact, valuing time, and the management of that time is something that’s mirrored across the corporate aisle and is a reflection of the desires of the companies themselves. Top managers in the field are stating that, from project management to time tracking to leave management, the most important tools for companies to implement in 2021 are tools that better manage employee’s time.
Add to this, the fact that companies are actively amending their leave policies to create the type of employee force and corporate culture that they state in their vision. Just one example can be seen in this Financial Times article, which states how Volvo is expanding their parental leave availability, regardless of gender, to attract and retain more parents. So not only is leave management and leave policy a tool to entice new and valued employees, it becomes a key method of establishing the kind of company you want to create in the future. It becomes a lever of practising your company values and not only stating, but instating your mission into real life practise. It becomes a method of cultural change at the corporate level.
And a cultural change isn’t just a corporate necessity, but a compassionate obligation as well. Over the past 24 months, the effect of time off from work on mental health has been brought to the front of of the public’s conscious as well as newspapers. More people are working from home than ever, and are enjoying the flexibility. They are also learning how, without a clear demarcation between home and work, their working hours slowly extricate themselves into their leisure and their life until the two are almost indistinguishable. The result? Where people have been unable to take holidays for true leisure and enjoyment, they’ve been forced to take them for stress. Businesses of all sizes need to manage holiday entitlements, the challenges for those running small and medium enterprises are even more acute, with a real risk of losing valuable, and irreplaceable resource at critical moments of business success.
So we can see that effective leave management is a component of not only the best hiring practises, but also the best culture building practises across companies, (and even countries!) We can see that it’s a necessity no matter what your size, and in fact, smaller enterprises actually need a more robust process to ensure business continuity.
The good news is, that the requirements for effectively managing holidays for employees don’t change dramatically with company size, industry, or location. Where leave policies are dependent on national laws, board-level decisions, and often a company’s legacy policies, a leave management software can be put in place much more autonomously. The requirements for such a software are simple: having a white labelled and customizable offering, which can match allowances to employee level and role, and do so in multiple languages, and across regions, means your leave management software can scale as your company grows.
Ultimately, leave management isn’t a question of just compliance. With the impact that it has on employees’ mental health, on a company’s desirability as a place to work, and even the impact it has on the wider culture of the community it inhabits: It’s a question of culture. And culture is a long-lived thing: making sure that we create a culture that is able to grow the corporation while also nurturing it’s human resource isn’t just a responsibility, but an incredible opportunity to positively impact lives and communities. Using a combination of forward looking leave policies, and empathetic practices, companies can ensure that not only their leave management principles, but the implementation of those principles, can truly reflect the culture that you promise.