The Good, The Bad and The Ugly of Absence Management

Absence management essential for business

So, let’s start by stating the obvious: all workers need to take time off every now and then. For a start, it’s the law – paid holiday time off. The exact number of days will depend on your contract. But, of course, holidays are not the only reason your employees might not turn up for work – there are many, many others. That’s why good staff absence management is essential for any business.

The key question here is: how aware are you of your staff’s absences? Or, to put it another way, do you know how much employee absence is costing your business? If you don’t, you sadly and scarily belong to the majority of businesses in the UK, who freely admit they do not have accurate absence figures. Whilst we don’t have a crystal ball, we do know that this costs your business far, far more than you a) would imagine and b) can afford.

But, of course, not all absences were created equal. In fact, the term “absence management” covers so many different categories that it’s worth taking a closer look, especially with Easter Monday just around the corner, a good example of a public holiday that, for many employees, is a paid day off.

The Good

Planned absences are the easiest of them all. We’re talking about maternity or paternity leave, planned medical operations and holidays, both public and personal. These are the absences for which we tend to be given the biggest heads up, often weeks if not months beforehand. This leaves plenty of time to plan, rearrange and to leave everything prepared well ahead of time – no staff shortages to worry about here.

The Bad

Sickness – it happens to us all, and obviously cannot be planned. We don’t know when it’s going to strike, or how long it’s going to last. The same goes for unforeseen childcare issues (illness on their part, strikes, etc), or even suddenly having to take care of a sick relative. Employees call or notify their line managers but there has been no warning, so no plan, and the effect is often one of scrambling to find cover.

The Ugly

These are the unexplained and unexpected absences, otherwise known as the curved ball. Often referred to as absenteeism, this is when there is a pattern of repeated, unexplained absences, and these are the ones that, when left unchecked, quickly spiral out of control, leaving you with a heavy price to pay. Worse still, they create a very bad atmosphere amongst other employees, who quickly see that nothing is being done about an unfair situation, leading to a general feeling of discontent and a lack of motivation. The result? Your bottom line takes a hit. If an employee is frequently absent, an alarm should be raised that something is going on that needs your attention, and EAC does just that. Their absence could be a lack of commitment to the company, it could be they are taking advantage, but it could also be that there is something far more serious going on – either within the workplace itself, or at home. Either way, your employee may well need your support. And you can’t help if you’re not even aware there is an issue.

So how does EAC make absence management easier?

By giving you all the tools you need to be able to define, track and report on your employees’ absence. Not only that, but you can do it quickly and easily, whenever you need it. The single most important step is awareness: you need to realise an issue exists, if you are going to deal with it.

Employee Attendance Cloud by Chronologic offers a selection of incredibly helpful workforce management tools, which include the absence management functionality. This is an invaluable resource when it comes to monitoring your workers’ time off. By allowing you access to your employees’ data quickly, easily and in real time, you can be alerted when something hasn’t gone to plan – when a worker doesn’t show up for their shift, for example, which means you can take action quickly, before it becomes a much bigger problem.

It goes without saying that this will save you a heap of time, and a lot of worry, too.

To find out more, book a free online demo and see how EAC can transform your absence management process.