Nearly 60% of 18-30-year-olds in the US are taking more than five sick days a year, and the estimated direct financial losses due to absenteeism sit at more than $40 billion a year. With those shocking numbers, it’s no surprise improving absence management is frequently seen as a top priority for businesses.
But what are the best ways to improve your absence management?
First, let’s be clear. Even though we all like to think that our workforce is superheroes (and sometimes they really are), let’s remember that we’re all human. And until we develop Wolverine-esque levels of self-healing, this means employees are going to have sick days.
If businesses fail to manage and cite their absence rates in a good way, there are normally two major problems that present themselves:
They fail to control its risks.
They neglect employee welfare.
Here are 5 tips on how to avoid this and how to improve your absence management.
1. Software is your friend
You’ve got to love software, right? It makes your life so much easier. Typically, absence management software works best when it’s integrated with other systems - like your workforce management solution.
Absence management solutions help keep employees' cost of absence low and productivity high. Without a solution in place, you could see a further decrease in employee absenteeism, which in turn negatively can affect your bottom line and expose your business to absenteeism non-compliance-related risks.
The solutions 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.
Say goodbye to errors
One of the most powerful benefits of using the right software is the ability to eradicate errors. For example, when absence management is controlled through your workforce management software, you can:
Perform real-time communication between managers and employees on absence requests.
Automatically (and manually) check absence balances to ensure the employee is not taking excess time off. Absence balances are transparently visible at all times for all types of absences.
Accurately forecast future balances for all regulations and planned leave usage and calculate the accrual of earned time off.
Reduce the risk of noncompliance with automatic checks against working time directives and employee contracts.
Automate all accrual policies including carryovers and prorations.
Ensure that absences are paid out at the right rates.
2. Dive into the data
Using software to manage your absences more effectively will give you unprecedented insight into the behavior of your workforce. Thanks to the amount of data you’ll have at your fingertips you’ll be able to make better decisions surrounding your absence management. By seeing the patterns and trends in your historical data, you’ll be able to better plan for absences.
Furthermore, artificial intelligence and machine learning within your software notify your managers on how likely it is that someone will be absent on any given day. It also gives them intelligent suggestions for which employees can replace those that are absent both before and after the requests are approved.
3. Practice ‘presenteeism’
In their recent absence management report, the UK-based CPID (Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development) said:
‘The most common methods that private sector organizations 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 organization’s performance.’
Attendance improves when organizations focus on employee engagement and creating a happy workforce.
4. Offer flexibility
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 measures 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.
With 85% of workers believing flexibility makes them more productive with the right tools and technology in place, flexible working can allow your organization to not just improve productivity, but save time, reduce costs, improve employee retention and boost employee happiness.
5. Have a powerful purpose
For your employees, meaning is beginning to matter more than money. Employees who feel like they have a meaning and significance in their workplace and are able to see how their contribution makes a difference, often value purpose over salary, are much more likely to stay with their organizations and have far fewer sick days.
Moreover, as our culture shifts from being based on materialism to experimentalism, your employees will:
Be less concerned about how much they earn.
Be less inclined to work long hours to earn more money to buy goods they don't need to impress people.
Be more concerned about the quality of their work life.
Want to work for an organization that has values that align with theirs.
Want their work to have a strong purpose and meaning behind it.
Absence management is one key area where a mobile-first, cloud-based, intuitive workforce management system can deliver immediate returns on investment. Why not book a demo to find out more?