May, 2020

5 Ways Self-Service Strengthens Your PTO Process

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5 Ways Self Service Strengthens Your PTO Process

Paid time off (PTO) is a benefit that many employees receive, yet 52% of Americans leave vacation time on the table. In fact, Americans forfeited 768 million vacation days in 2018. Why is that exactly? Several reasons are cited in the survey, including the fear of seeming replaceable and having too heavy a workload. However, what if the reason your employees aren’t taking time off is your actual PTO process?

If your company’s paid-time-off process is too complicated or isn’t being communicated effectively, it’s time to make a change. A unified workforce management platform that includes an employee self-service (ESS) system can streamline your paid-time-off process. This can lead to happier employees, higher productivity, and reduced turnover. Let’s explore five ways self-service strengthens your PTO process.

1. Simplified PTO Process

A complicated and poorly communicated time-off request process can deter employees from taking well-deserved personal days. Whether working in the office or from home, it’s still essential for employees to take time off and recharge. Simplify the process in the following ways:

  • Document Your PTO Policy: Create a written paid time off policy that encourages your employees to take a vacation. Make sure it explains details like employee eligibility, how PTO is accrued, and whether it may be carried over from year to year.
  • Communicate to Employees: Post your company’s paid-time-off policy in online employee handbooks and self-service newsfeeds where employees can access.
  • Use ESS for Time Off Requests: Submitting PTO requests from mobile devices saves time for your employees and your HR department.

2. More Open Employee Communication

Employees can feel frustrated at work if they are not communicated with on a regular basis. Self-service technology provides an easy and effective way to communicate company processes, like PTO, open enrollment, and W-2 distribution. Using the communication tools available with employee self-service options will keep your workforce informed and engaged:

  • Text Messaging: Communicate immediately using a method that all employees are sure to read.
  • Emails: Send out recurring communications with employees about important company information.
  • Task Alerts: Let employees know they have action items to complete in ESS, like eSigning time cards or enrolling in benefits.

3. Increased Employee Engagement

An employee who is stressed and overwhelmed is less likely to be engaged with work. The best way for an employee to decompress and unwind is to use their paid time off. Self-service technology simplifies PTO requests management and sends the message you’re encouraging employees to use their vacation time. Employee engagement leads to a more positive work environment and supports a healthy work culture.

4. More Productive Workforce

Using self-service technology to streamline your paid-time-off process can result in a more productive workforce, as well as increased revenue and growth. Workers agree that one of the benefits of using their paid time off is increased productivity. Employees who feel supported in taking a vacation are 68% happier with their job and 72% happier with their company.

5. Reduced Employee Turnover

High turnover translates into serious profit loss when you factor in interviewing, hiring, training, reduced productivity, and lost opportunity costs:

  • Entry-Level Employees: 30-50% of their annual salary
  • Mid-Level Employees: 150% of their annual salary
  • High-Level Employees: 400% of their annual salary

However, employees who are satisfied with their work are more likely to stick around for the long haul. Employees who use their PTO on a regular basis are 57% more satisfied at work. Higher employee satisfaction can translate to a much healthier bottom line.

Other HR Processes You Can Improve

It doesn’t stop with your PTO process; using employee self-service tools can help improve other HR activities:

eSignature of Company Documents

Using a mobile self-service app with eSigning abilities makes it easy for employees to electronically sign documents. This is particularly convenient for employees who work from home, as they can sign documents from their smartphone, including:

  • Time cards
  • Receipt of property for remote workers
  • Employee handbooks

Accessibility to Tax Forms

Another way an employee self-service app can streamline processes is by providing access to tax forms for increased autonomy. Employees and contractors can quickly view their W-2 and 1099 information to gather the data they need for their tax returns.

Visibility to Benefits Information

Employees want the ability to quickly access important HR information, and visibility to their benefits enrollment details is no exception. Real-time visibility into current plan enrollment and dependents’ details gives employees the ability to confirm their accuracy and coverage.

Strengthening Your PTO Process and Beyond

To recap, there are several benefits to leveraging self-service technology to strengthen your PTO process:

  1. Employees can easily request time off, so they are more likely to use their PTO.
  2. More open lines of communication are created with texts, emails, and task alerts between employees and managers.
  3. Employee engagement is increased by encouraging workers to use their paid time off.
  4. Workforce productivity is improved because employees are avoiding burnout.
  5. Employee turnover is reduced, which also decreases labor expenses for a healthier bottom line.

How APS Can Help

APS’ ESS mobile app streamlines PTO management, employee tasks, and more. Our mobile app provides easy time off request functionality, real-time views of accrual balances, as well as instant communication between managers and employees. With access to essential payroll and HR information at the tap of a screen, you can strengthen your PTO process.

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