My colleague came into work this morning telling me that her car’s warning light for ice had come on during her journey to work, as the temperatures outside hit below 4 degrees.

Looking out of the window you’d never believe it, it’s a beautifully sunny day – but winter is fast approaching, along with the end of the annual leave year. It’s usually the time of year when software providers see an influx of enquiries from businesses keen to get new staff holiday planning and performance review software in place for the new leave year.

 I absolutely recommend anyone thinking about putting in a cloud based leave planner for January 2017 book a demo now, because getting everyone in the business on board can take longer than you think, and we know from experience that the end of year is a stressful time for HR Managers. October and early November represents the calm before the storm.

Come mid November, in companies where leave can’t be carried forward, staff get the heebie jeebies because they haven’t used all their holiday entitlement. It’s often only absent mindedness rather than deliberate, but nobody wants to lose their annual leave if they can’t carry it over.

They obviously can’t all take time off at the same time, so its a leave request race – and where clashes follow, particularly when there is a ‘no carryover’ policy, the HR Manager is like Solomon, stepping in to try and make as fair a decision as possible without leaving the business short staffed.

It’s a challenging time anyway, for other reasons. HR are often busy dealing with the seasonal fallout that follows a flurry of office parties – workplace scandals, disagreements that get fuelled by alcohol, social media challenges, staff turning up hungover and staff not turning up at all – and trying to find replacement cover at short notice.

As if they already don’t have enough to deal with, ‘flu season kicks in.  You’ll usually find the HR Manager sniffling their way through the day, unable to take time off when they are themselves unwell, because they simply have too much to do!

When they finally settle down in front of their Christmas Dinner, HR managers will have justified every penny of their whole year’s salary in one month, but those who don’t have a system in place will face a bigger horror when they return – the end of year annual leave report.

 All of this adds up to a very stressful period, and one that will be made worse if you’ve left it until December to start booking absence management software demonstrations.

We are here to help, and here to advise our customers – if you want new software for the next annual leave year, contact us before the storm starts to bite, and we’ll do what we can to help make next winter a little less painful.