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How to build an Excel Vacation Tracker for Employees

by Jeff 26 Jul 15:07 4 min read
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The success of a company lies in the hands of it's employees. That's why proper employee management is essential in every company that would like to succeed, no matter the size.

Companies are starting to up their game, as they realise that it is more expensive to re-hire and employee than to up-skill and keep current employees happy. And anyway who doesn't want to wake up in the morning and work with happy colleagues! Organisations are taking to this challenge by providing educational programmes, unlimited vacation policies, remote work, health insurance, retirement plans, generous maternity and paternity leaves, snacks, drinks, games rooms, even music rooms, looking at you Shopify 👏

With such offerings the next challenge would be, "but how do you manage all of this". It is very important to track usage of everything, so you can spot certain situations, for example and employee that hasn't had any vacation this year.

In this article we explore into a little bit more detail how you can, and why you should track and monitor employee time-off.

Why should you have an employee vacation tracker?

The main reason is that the company will lose money. It can lose money because of overstaffing or understaffing during particular periods, if the company is not on track it will have to cut staff, however with a little bit of advanced management we can handle the following situations:

  1. Understaffing during summer and school holidays
  2. Abuse of unlimited PTO policies
  3. Burnt out employees who are not taking any time off, we need well rested employees
  4. Abuse of sick leave policies, this can be a trend and with a little bit of understanding we can find the reason for it. Maybe an employee is overworked or needs help in some areas or is unhappy.

How can you track vacation days?

  1. Use Google Calendar and get all employees post their time off there.
  2. Create an Excel spreadsheet and get employees to email you their days
  3. Create a shared excel spreadsheet and everyone can put their days and you can count days per employee.

These options might work well in the first few days or weeks, maybe even months, but in the end it will become more of a headache than a solution. Imagine you need to implement a vacation approval process? Or you want to limit the amount of days an employee can take vacation. Or you'd want to set a shutdown period?

A better option would be to use OfficeSimplify's vacation tracking software, so you can set it on autopilot and manage all the following for you:

  1. Set custom leave policies, such as how many days per year does an employee receive
  2. Auto calculations from the employee start date
  3. Approval process by team manager or direct manager
  4. Integrations with your favourite calendar (Google, Outlook, Calendar)
  5. Integrations with your favourite team messaging (Slack or Teams)
  6. Automatic notifications when someone is away or when there are pending requests that need approval
  7. Public holidays calculation by office location
  8. Specify shut down periods
  9. Keep track of emergency contact details
  10. Export csv/excel reports
  11. ... and many more

Conclusion

Never before has it been easy to manage and track vacations for your company, and the best part employees love it! You can throw away those outdated employee vacation spreadsheets and manage everything in one place the smart way. Not having to worry about managing time off or having lack of staff on call due to mis managed vacation policies, is a huge relief for any manager, and that time you get back you can focus on improving employee happiness.