Kent-based WhosOff.com is an award-winning staff leave planner, currently used by more than 2,500 businesses to manage company holiday online. CEO Reg Groombridge has seen a noticeable shift in the way companies are managing essential HR tasks like coordinating staff time off.
Reg says: “All companies, including large construction firms, are more sensitive than ever to key trades not being available at vital pinch points during a projects design and build. Management including site managers need to have a clear vision of who’s on leave or even off sick.
“There continues to be pressure caused by the shortage of skilled tradesman so you need online systems that your whole team can use to see accurate information, wherever they’re located – office based, onsite or on the move.”
Office-based staff have been affected by the remote working movement and this has also affected recruitment, making vacant roles available to a wider geographical spread of people. While this is good news for applicants, it means companies are working harder to retain their top talent.
“The switch to hybrid working is driving investment in HR tools like WhosOff because there’s less face-to-face interaction between employees,” explains Reg. “You can’t just lean across the desk and ask someone if they’ve booked next week off.
“There’s a need for companies to provide a good employee experience. When recruitment is a challenge, you can’t afford to lose your most valuable people – and a basic mistake like miscalculating someone’s holiday allowance or not logging their time off request can have a huge impact on people’s loyalty to your business.”
He adds: “Likewise, it’s important to protect the health and wellbeing of your workforce, to mitigate the risk of someone going off long-term sick.
“We’re seeing more companies using WhosOff’s absence management feature to track staff sick leave so they can identify people who may be struggling with their physical or mental health and offer appropriate support.
“Fortunately, essential HR tools have become much more affordable in recent years, which means SMEs can use the same, sophisticated software as much larger companies.”
Ever-rising employee expectations have created a stronger business case for investing in HR technologies. When WhosOff launched in 2007 it was one of the very first online staff leave planners, and most businesses still used paper forms or spreadsheets to track time off. Now, companies of all sizes are modernising their operations to help them attract and retain the best people.