State-mandated regulations require employers to allow employees to go on leave, whether paid or unpaid. Aside from that, some employees may also be asked by the company to go on administrative leave. This happens when there’s an ongoing internal investigation that may be too delicate or emotionally charged.
Whether it’s the former or the latter, most companies already have a process in place for filing leaves. However, the new normal amid the COVID-19 pandemic has brought changes in how employees utilize leaves and how companies process leave requests.
The process may be particularly tricky for companies who have been on a semi-work-from-home arrangement since the pandemic started. If you’re still having trouble with the leave-filing process, remember: a go-to system is vital. The process highly depends on your workplace arrangements, but here are steps you might want to take to make leaves easier to process and track.
Schedule a meeting via email
Whether an employee is requesting leave or placing someone on administrative leave, you have to keep communications on record. And the best way to do this is to do the correspondence via email. Before anything else, email the employee and set a meeting schedule. Whether it be a face-to-face meeting or a Zoom call, ensure that everything is clear in your email.
By doing so, you’ll have a clear record of your back-and-forth. In addition to that, each email would have a clear time stamp, thereby helping you keep track of the timeline. This will be very helpful should you need to trace schedules or backtrack agreed-upon arrangements in the future.
Hold the meeting in-person or on Zoom
These days, holding a Zoom or video call app meeting is as common as doing it face-to-face. During the meeting, make sure that you’re on the same page with the employee regarding the leave arrangements. For instance, both parties should agree to the length of leave. If the leave is linked to a sensitive matter, it might be wise to record the call with the employee’s consent.
Follow up via email to confirm all details
Though you may have ironed out the details during the meeting, make sure to send a confirmatory email. By doing so, you’ll ensure that both parties agree with the terms of the leave. An email confirming all the details will also help avoid misunderstandings down the road. No matter how simple the agreements are, putting down the details in black and white never hurts.
Give them time
Whether the employee or the company initiated the leave, one thing is for sure: the employee needs time. This means giving the person enough breathing space to deal with their issues. Unless it’s crucial, it’s best not to bother them if they’re on leave and allow them the time they need for themselves.
Without a doubt, threading in the new normal can be difficult for many ventures. But at the end of the day, it’s always all about being sympathetic to team members and adjusting to innovations when needed.