How to Streamline Your Holiday PTO Process with Formstack

Written by Sarah Quezada on November 12, 2014

Posted in Form Hacks, Human Resources

‘Tis the season! For holiday leave requests, that is. Pumpkin is on every menu, and the enthusiastic among us have already cued up the jingles. For human resources and department managers, that can mean only thing: PTO requests are about to pile up. Unlike summer vacations, which tend to spread out over several months, annual leave submissions skyrocket from Thanksgiving through New Year’s Eve.

Did you know you can use your Formstack account to easily manage these requests? Many companies use online forms for sales and collecting customer info, but there’s so much more you can do—like create PTO forms!

Gone are the days of lengthy email chains and piles of papers to sort through as supervisors plan holiday staffing schedules. With Formstack’s built-in Approval Workflow feature, you can easily collect, approve, and keep track of holiday leave.

To get started, you can mimic the PTO form we use during the holidays here at Formstack. Or, if you’re looking for something super simple, check out the pre-built templates in the Formstack builder. Select “PTO Request” from the drop-down menu. Then, add the functionality that best fits your company’s needs.

Approval Process: Under “Approvals” in the Settings tab, you can add managers and other staffers who will be in charge of reviewing and granting leave requests. What’s handy here is that you can add multiple approvers if, say, you require approvals from both a scheduler and the human resources manager.

Approval Logic: At bigger companies, department heads are typically the ones deciding how to keep the office staffed throughout the holiday season. But that doesn’t mean you have to build a separate form for each department. Instead, create a dynamic PTO form that’s routed to different supervisors based on which employee is filling it out. For example, if your form includes a field for “employee department,” you can route each request to the appropriate department manager.

Notification Emails: Each time your PTO form is filled out, you can set up a notification email to go to the right approver based on your logic. But these aren’t just any old notifications. The supervisor can take a quick look, then hit “approve” or “deny” right from within the email. They don’t even need to log in to Formstack.

You can also opt to have a notification email automatically sent to other staff each time a new leave request is approved. This communication is a handy way to notify executives, for instance, or keep employees up-to-date on department staffing throughout the busy holiday season.

Confirmation Emails: To automate the process of keeping employees updated, you can customize status emails to go out only after a submission has been officially approved or denied.

Best of all, PTO submission, approval, and denial data is all stored within Formstack for easy reference and filing. Formstack keeps a digital record of who approved each submission and when, just in case any questions come up.

Does the thought of all the holiday details exhaust you? Streamline your PTO process, and let it be one less thing you have to worry about this year! Sign up for a free 14-day trial below to see just how easy it can be.