Flexible working can have great benefits for a company and the work/life balance of employees.
It is becoming a necessity for companies that want to attract the best employees, but how can HR departments make it work on a practical and administrative level?
It can be a real nightmare to manage employee time and availability, especially if the workforce is spread over a number of offices and has a degree of autonomy.
IT has a big role to play in this environment and a number of advances over the last decade have helped make employees more productive, but what about HR professionals? What are the key features that an employer needs to make flexible working manageable for the HR department, and what controls need to be put in place to ensure processes such as time sheets and holiday booking are effective and not abused?
Whether you are struggling with the administration of flexible working or will be implementing it within your organisation in the future, here are our top tips for success:
Consider the cloud – Not only is this often quicker and cheaper to implement than an on-premise solution, it is also very secure and gives great flexibility and reliability to staff managing and using the system. Changes can be implemented by the HR department or IT team and become instantly available to all users, without updating their devices.
Working patterns – Make sure you choose a system with the flexibility to allow working patterns to be defined in days or minutes and hours, either for individual employees or for groups of employees that belong to a specific shift pattern. Total flexibility is key in this area of an HR system – flexible working needs a flexible system!
Calendaring – A feature rich calendar system allows HR and other departments to see how resources are committed in the business for different shift patterns. It makes planning in advance more efficient and can ensure swifter approval of authorised absence without leaving departments short-staffed.
Self-service timesheets – Employees should be able to enter their timesheets and submit them for approval from anywhere, through Internet Explorer or other browsers. Staff should also be automatically reminded via e-mail when their timesheets are due or late.
Approval workflows – Your HR system should allow you to define the approval workflows for timesheets and holidays, so that regardless of where an ‘approver’ is located they are made aware of items needing their review and approval. That person should be able to access and work with planners, calendars and other parts of the HR system that will allow them to approve or decline the timesheets and raise queries with the employee.
If you want further advice on how Cascade HR solutions could help your organisation streamline flexible working, contact us today on 0113 255 4115.