Managing and monitoring staff absence sucks a lot of time from HR departments or those responsible for People Management, especially in small businesses.
When the busy summer holiday months come around, or when winter and back-to-school bugs tear through your headcount, you need something to make life easier and ensure your team get timely, accurate responses and that have a realm of data to based decisions to enhance your management approach.
Apart from monitoring and reporting on absence levels, what are the signs that you need to tighten up your game on recording – and then acting on the results of your findings?
You need Absence Management Software if …
How long are you taking to record leave and absence? Whether you use absence management software already or not you ned to be aware of the time the process takes on both sides – your and the relevant employees.
Are you regularly making and correcting mistakes? And are staff getting too little – or too much leave – according to their entitlements? Are there regular differences of ‘opinion’ on this?
Do you have requests filed in by paper and left on your desk? Or have trouble finding them in your inbox. Is your system watertight enough to avoid any ‘what’s the latest version of that file – and where is it?‘ issues?
During busy request periods, can you systematically and instantly see which request was filed first and who has priority? (Have you got an official absence management policy in place?)
- Absence Management Policy – A 12-Step Guide
- The Staff Holiday Planner Guide
- Staff Holiday Planning Headaches?
If there’s any aspect of ‘opinion’ in any discussion on leave balances, then you need an absence management system.
Are you accurately recording sick days? Are there trends and patterns? Are they plain to see in one glance? When you see certain individuals are regularly sick on a particular day of the week you can act accordingly to work with that individual to find a solution to the cause of this.
How are you recording causes of absence? Have you got a repository at your fingertips of all the sick notes you need for each absence related to each staff member?
If you had a legal case from a past or present employee for example, you would have all their files in one place, with accurate, complete record-keeping of their work patterns, punctuality, absence levels etc.
If absence records have self-service elements (such as uploading doctors’ notes or certificates) you will have even more time free. (If you use timesheets, you’ll know who was at work or not to check the system on who should have recorded a day off and why.)
Self-service elements also allow other time-saving benefits such as letting employees check their own leave balances without requesting information.
And when these checks and self service elements can be made using any device, from the browser without the need to download apps or have specific versions or operating-system-dependant issues to further slow down the process you will have brought your request and response times inline with modern expectations.
Knowing patterns of absence can allow you to plan in advance for busy periods and have more economical, suitable replacements in the wings ahead of time.
Automations will help illustrate up-to-the-minute leave balances with either visual presentations or data exports.
And setting up an absence management system should be intuitive and fast. There’s no point having a super system if it takes to much time to setup and deploy – plus the team have to like the experience and the leadership team should have positive buy-in.
Even if you have efficient staff and paper systems now, how can you be sure annual leave calculations are correct and made consistently? Part-leave-year calculations are notoriously difficult to get right and a system will deliver instant responses using consistent methods.
Do you have any idea of how much absences cost you? Without a reporting function you won’t be able to apply missed days with the specific costs associated with an employee.
If you have comps, bens and salary details all reportable alongside missed days, you will have all the data you need at your fingertips.
We often hear that the ability to track and act on repeating unnecessary costs delivers almost instant ROI to customers. Let alone the usual admin-associated savings.
Of course not all absence is associated with checking-up on staff or trying to pinpoint troublesome team members.
Being able to measure Jury service days, the impact of maternity or long-term sickness leave allows you to review your policies and make provision for cover to ensure a happy team feels supported and valued so that morale levels are kept high and that nobody is feeling ‘stretched’ to provide cover.
Successfully managing employee absence is vital to anyone running a business, especially a small business. Staff absenteeism affects productivity, costs money and has a massive influence on wellbeing and company spirit.
The more control you have over absence management, the more you and your team will reap the rewards.
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