5 Benefits of an Absence Management System
Often when talking about our absence management system, we say that it’ll make such a huge difference to your business that you’ll wonder how you ever got by without it.
Better absence management will help you in more ways than you can imagine. Honestly, we could write a book about the many ways our simple system could transform your business!
But let’s keep things brief and look at the five biggest benefits of our absence management system:
1. Make Life Easier for Your HR Team
Our absence management solution streamlines dozens of everyday HR processes.
For example, how do employees currently request leave in your company? Do they have to email their line managers or HR? There’s your first problem. It can take a while to get a reply to an email, and it’s easy for information to get lost or overlooked in long email chains.
What happens next? Either the manager has to liaise with HR, or HR has to cross-reference the request with a number of spreadsheets and databases. They have to take into account the employee’s holiday allowance, how many days they’ve taken, and how many days they have remaining. Then they have to look at timesheets and staffing levels, to ensure that the employee’s leave won’t cause any problems for any other member of the team.
Only then can the employee’s leave request get signed off. And once this is done, the employee must be notified, which means yet another email.
Any process that involves long chains of emails and multiple spreadsheets and databases is dead on arrival. It’s inefficient, unreliable, and it’s costing you more than you might imagine.
Our absence management system streamlines this process. Any member of staff can securely access Edays from any device. They’ll instantly be able to see how many days’ holiday they have left to take, which means no more “how much holiday do I have left” emails. Then they can take their leave request in just a few clicks.
Whoever’s responsible for approving their leave request will get an alert, and you can set certain absence triggers. For instance, you can define minimum staffing levels, so the line manager or HR staff will know immediately whether each employee’s leave request will cause any problems for the workload. And once they get this alert, they can approve or deny the leave request in just a few clicks and just a few seconds.
This means the entire leave request process can be completed in no time at all. What used to take hours or even days, now takes minutes or even seconds.
All this time saved can really add up. In fact, we estimate that we save our clients around £489 per employee per year.
2. Improve Employee Wellbeing
What’s good for HR and management is also good for the rest of the team. If it’s easy for staff to book time off, then employees are more likely to take the time off they need, when they need it.
Why is this important? Because we may be facing a stress pandemic. According to the Mental Health Foundation, in 2018 74% of people felt so stressed they were overwhelmed or unable to cope. And CIPD figures show that stress is one of the biggest causes of unplanned absences in the workplace.
There are many things you can do to manage stress in your workplace. But one of the most effective methods for combating stress is to make it as easy as possible for employees to book time off. If your leave planning system is complex and long-winded, unconsciously or not, some employees may simply decide not to bother. It’ll just be work, work, work; with no breaks, and no time taken for rest, relaxation, and recuperation.
Employees who don’t take breaks are not the most productive of employees. They risk burnout, and their stress levels might reach a crisis point.
Use our absence management system and you’ll remove almost all of the barriers that prevent employees from taking well-earned breaks. Our system makes it easier for employees to get a good work/life balance, which is an instrumental part of any effective employee wellbeing program.
3. Safeguard Your Business
Unplanned absence is a major challenge for any company. But for smaller companies, absences can hit that much harder.
The smaller your team, the more you’ll depend on each other. Every member of the team will have a huge number of responsibilities. So any day, when you’re not at full capacity, is going to be a struggle. People are going to have to pick up the slack, and something’s got to give – either productivity will suffer, or stress levels will rise. Neither outcome is particularly desirable.
But if you act to keep on top of absences in your company, you’ll already be one up on your competitors. Not all businesses have an absence management policy, but those who do are generally prepared for every eventuality.
So, where your competitors will struggle to cope with unplanned absences, with an absence management solution you can safeguard your company. You can ensure that nobody gets overworked, and everything can remain as productive as possible even when you’re not operating at full capacity.
4. Reduce Absenteeism
There are a few ways that an absence management solution can help you to reduce absenteeism in your business. Let’s look at one of the more direct ways.
Unauthorized absence is the most disruptive form of absenteeism. This is where an employee takes time off without letting you know, and not because they’re suffering from ill-health or injuries. It might also be known as skiving or pulling a sickie.
It’s unexpected and sporadic, so it creates all the same problems that other forms of absence caused. But unauthorized absences also suggest that there may be something more serious going on. It might suggest that an employee doesn’t respect you enough and thinks nothing of simply not showing up for work.
But if employees know that you’re monitoring and reporting on every incidence of absence, they may think twice about pulling that sickie.
Of course, there are other reasons why guests might choose to skive. It might be that they’re stressed and overworked, and they simply need a break. But even in this case, if you’ve got an absence management system, any member of your team can book the time off they need with ease. They get a well-earned break, and you don’t have to worry about any disruption to your operations.
5. Understand Your Absence Trends
This isn’t the only way our absence management solution can help to reduce absenteeism in your company. As well as acting as a deterrent against unauthorized absences, our system can also help you to reduce unplanned absences caused by illness and injury.
Our system features a detailed yet accessible reports dashboard. Over time, it’ll give you a graphical overview of the absence trends in your company. You can get insights into sickness rates, the cost of absence, the amount of time lost, Bradford Factor scores, and more.
If you take the time to understand the absence trends in your company, you might start to spot certain patterns. And once you start to spot patterns, you might start to think of the sort of changes you could make to make absences less likely in the future.
Here’s an example of how this might work: We recently analyzed the data of more than 500 UK companies that use our absence management system. One of our key findings was that November is the single worst month of the year for unplanned absences in the UK.
Can you think of any reasons why November might be particularly bad for absences? We can think of a few: The days are short, and the temperatures are low. End-of-year deadlines are fast approaching, and so too is Christmas, which is a source of tremendous stress and financial pressure for many of us.
So let’s say you looked at your absence data and found that November was a bad month for sickness absence. It’s easy to imagine the sort of changes you could make to help your team when they need it most.
Perhaps you could see if there’s any room in your budget to offer staff bonuses, which could help alleviate some of the financial strain of Christmas. Or you could think about introducing a flexible working policy, making it possible for your team to work from home rather than facing a long commute on those cold, dark winter mornings. You could even look at your staffing levels and investigate how workloads are divided. Things might be a little uneven, which would explain why so many people feel pressured as the end of the year draws near.
This is just an example. Investigating your absence trends might reveal something completely different. But the point is, the more you can understand your absence trends, the more power you’ll have to act to reduce absenteeism in the future.
What is absence management?
Absence management is an employer’s approach — via policies, procedures, culture or programs — to reduce employee absenteeism, manage absence, avoid workforce disruption and maximize employee productivity, whilst supporting their well-being and mental health.
How do you manage absence effectively?
- Incentivise attendance.
- Consider increasing holiday entitlement.
- Use absence management software to understand trends.
- Make your absence policies CLEAR.
- Use return-to-work interviews.
- Create a positive workplace culture.
- Allow flexible working.
Why is it important to manage absenteeism?
When an employee is absent, other workers need to pick up the slack for this absent worker. Putting in this extra effort likely results in a dip in productivity & efficiency. Employee engagement reduces and burnout can happen. Good absence management can prevent all these and also minimize the financial implications of employees missing work too.
How do you measure absence?
Measuring absenteeism is easy: take the number of unexcused absences in a given period of time, divide it by the total period, and multiply the result by 100 to get the percentage of absenteeism over a month, a year, and so on.
Still Not Convinced? See Edays in action today
In this post, we’ve only really scratched the surface. Our absence management system is so loaded with game-changing features that you’ll probably still be discovering new benefits after months of use.
Any business of any size can use our system to streamline its processes, save time and money, and make life easier for everyone. Head here to explore all of the features we offer in greater depth.
But really, Edays has to be seen to be believed. That’s why we’re offering you a free trial, so you can experience the benefits for yourself with no risk, and no obligation to buy.