Managing leave and accommodations requests can take up a lot of HR’s valuable time. You might be managing FMLA and ADA requests with manilla folders and post-it notes, or you could have complicated processes that span multiple platforms and solutions. The right all-in-one leave and accommodations management software can consolidate and streamline these processes—saving time, improving compliance, and creating a better experience for everyone involved.
However, the key to realizing the promise of leave technology lies in how well your implementation process goes.
With a little advance planning and a committed team, you can set yourself up for a fast, smooth implementation process.
In this article, we’ll review four important (but not always obvious) steps you can take to get ready to implement leave technology.
Step 1: Build Your Implementation Team
The very first thing you’ll want to do is identify the people at your organization that can and should be part of the implementation process. Your team should include the decision makers for leave process and policy, and as well as those who will use any systems or software that will be integrated with your solution. Including a representative from IT is also very helpful to address issues with security or other technical logistics.
As you ask others to join your implementation team, you want to make sure they are committed to being part of the process. This way, you can make the best use of everyone’s time and avoid having to reschedule meetings.
Step 2: Prepare to Make Decisions
As you go through the implementation process, decision points always come up along the way. These can include: who will have access to new systems, how processes will change, who will take on newly-identified responsibilities, and more.
This is why it is vitally important to include decision-makers in the implementation team. If that isn’t possible, ask to have decision-making authority granted to someone on your team. Otherwise, the implementation time can increase every time you have to stop the process to seek out an approval.
Step 3: Get Your Data Ready
Once you have your team ready to go, the next big consideration is data. Gathering accurate and comprehensive employee data is key to make sure leave technology can deliver the most value to your organization.
Before implementation, you should spend time identifying what types of employee data you will need and locating your data sources. Leave eligibility calculations depend on knowing each employee’s length of service, so it is best to compile historical data that goes back two or more years.
A leave software implementation includes a large, one-time data transfer of all the current and historical data you have compiled. You should be ready to prepare your data in a specific way to match fields in the new system. During implementation, you will also need to establish an ongoing data transfer process to keep the system up to date. It is helpful to think through what that process might look like before the implementation process starts.
Step 4: Be Open to Change
Once you have assembled your team and prepared your data, the last piece of a successful implementation is a willingness to embrace change. Introducing automation and a new, centralized system means changing the way things “have always been done.” This often includes altering processes and learning new skills.
During implementation, expecting—and embracing—change will make sure you get the most out of your software investment.
Being open to adapting your manual leave management processes allows you to automate more of them. While adopting a new system and process may seem daunting at first, it won’t be long before spreadsheets, post-it notes, and email reminders become a thing of the past.
Implementing leave technology doesn’t have to be hard, or take forever. A truly successful implementation is one that is on time, on budget, and has all the right pieces in place. You don’t even have to try to automate and streamline every process right from the start. A good implementation will give you the foundation you need to optimize more of your leave and accommodations management processes over time.
After having helped over 200 customers implement leave and accommodations management solutions, we have seen firsthand how these four steps make for a much faster and more seamless implementation process. We hope they help you when the time comes to adopt a new way to manage leave.
To see our solution in action, we invite you to schedule a demo of AbsenceSoft today.