Absence Management - 5 ways to improve

As much as we all like to think our workforce are superheroes (and sometimes they really are) the simple fact of life is we’re all human. And until ..

As much as we all like to think our workforce are superheroes (and sometimes they really are) the simple fact of life is we’re all human.

And until we develop Wolverine-esque levels of self-healing, this means employees are going to have sick days. The good news from the Office of National Statistics in the UK is the latest figures showed the lowest level of sick days since records began. However, with the average for each working standing at 4.3 days, this still created a total of 137 million days lost to sickness.

Whatever way this is looked at, this costs businesses money and poor absence management compounds this cost, so much so the Price Waterhouse Cooper say poor absence management costs UK businesses in excess of £30 billion each year.

There are two major problems that present themselves when not managing absence in the best way. The first one is that any business who are not able to cite their absence rates are failing to control their risks. The second is when poor absence management is a neglect of employee welfare.

So how can absence management be improved? Here are five tips to get you started...

1. Improve wellbeing

Employee wellbeing is vital for mitigating the risk of poor absence management. A happy workforce is a productive workforce. Well-being can include everything from regular one on one meetings to creating a healthy, balanced work environment. Putting employee well-being at the heart of your strategy is the best first step.

2. Promote attendance

In their recent absence management report the CPID (Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development) said: ‘The most common methods that private sector organisations are focusing on to encourage employees to want to come to work are developing managers’ people management skills, promoting an open culture where people feel able to raise issues and enabling employees to understand how their job role contributes to the organisation’s performance.’ Attendance improves when organisations who focus on employee engagement and help employees enjoy work.

3. Provide a balance

Offering employees a choice to work flexible hours that match their lifestyle, whilst meeting the needs of the business, gives employees a sense of ownership and control. Encouraging a life outside of work and putting in measure to promote this deliver healthy returns and produce employees who feel like they’ve been invested in. Simple changes, like giving employees the power to choose the shifts they work, can make a huge difference.

4. Evaluate

What works in one industry doesn’t necessarily work in another. Like all areas of business absence management is an area that needs constant evaluation and evolution. From return to work meetings to trigger mechanisms to review attendance, put in measure to reduce work related stress and find which practices work for you.

5. Use software & technology

The best business optimisation tools will measure, track and even predict absence. Using a system integrated with scheduling, time reporting and payroll significantly reduces the margin for error to next to nothing. It also allows you to quickly find replacements and easily manage leave applications with a click of a button.

If you’d like more top tips and advice on how to become the ultimate HR manager you can download our free guide through the link below.

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