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Is your global HR system is not meeting employee absence requirements?

10 September 2020 5 min read

hr system not meeting global absence requirements

You are not alone if this applies to you…  

You’re planning your People strategy and your goal is to design and deliver great people solutions that help drive the organization forward and prepare your business for the future world of work. 

 You want to help your organization:  

  1. Go digital – to gain efficiency and improve the employee experience. 
  2. Focus on wellbeing – to have people performing to the best of their mental and physical ability. 
  3. Access data – that supports company growth and informs decision making.

You’re getting frustrated spending so much admin time every day answering queries that take time away from L&D, recruitment, and the strategically important tasks that help people. You want to deliver automation and strategic people initiatives. Your existing systems or processes are unable to manage all requirements relating to planned holiday and sickness absence across all the geographic locations you work in. This is now causing frustrations and those frustrations are now having a real commercial and people impact. 

You may even be in the middle of implementing a growth strategy and need centralization of information; and spreadsheets, paper forms, and e-mail-based processes are causing headaches for the business in terms of resource planning. In addition to all of this, you’re getting negative feedback from employees about how long it takes to book and get a holiday signed off. 

So far so true? Then keep reading… 

The issue is, you’re struggling with your current tools and processes. Your business has invested in an expensive, slightly clunky, big (and therefore a bit complex), HR information system, but it’s not actually being used as widely around the world as it should, because it can’t handle the different leave and absence rules of each of the geographic locations you work in. You need to manage absence better with your current tools, but if you do, you face an extremely large bill on your desk. You need an affordable alternative that’s going to meet your objectives.  

So what’s the answer?  

You need a cost-effective solution. One that will help you achieve your objectives and future-proof your needs. One that doesn’t require you to do a big global transformation project, but one that uses what you’ve got, with a layer on top.  

 When considering your options, there are SIX things to consider: 

 1. Your processes

Whether you’re implementing new or redefining your existing regional and global processes, they need to be scalable as your business grows. When processes aren’t simple, people are too busy to do them. When there’s no consistency, there’s no point in the process. They need to be digital, self-serving, and fast. If your current process takes your staff more than 10 seconds to request leave or log sickness, it’s taking them too long. If they’re having to use paper and spreadsheets, then prepare for errors. Edays reduces the absence booking process, on average, by 93%, taking only 6 seconds to record an absence.   

 2. Connecting your other systems

Aligning all locations to one global absence system is tough if you don’t have the right system in place and connecting your HRIS, payroll, occupation health, and benefits packages would be near impossible. However, put the right system in place and you’ve got yourself a smart and inexpensive way to focus on getting the best out of your business and business data. When your systems are connected, they talk to each other in a way that offers insight, trend analysis, and business-wide reporting, easily.   

 3. Bringing it up in the board room

Buying anything right now is likely to be a board-level decision, so don’t leave it to the last minute to bring your C-suite in on your challenges. Engage the boardroom by speaking a language the Board understands – the powerful art of metrics. Finance Directors, in particular, will want to know the cost of absence in the business (which 69% of HRs don’t know, thus strengthening your case for a system), or how much they can save on absence per employee, per year. Not sure? Talk to us, Edays customers on average save £289 / $426 / 303 per employee, per year, for example.  

4. Be an HR guru, not a tech wizard

Never buy a piece of tech from a supplier that expects you to integrate new products yourself, or that doesn’t provide content to help you navigate the purchase process. You need ultimate confidence when you’re buying into a new system or process. And as Granny always said, buy cheap, buy twice.   

5. Give yourself a break

You’re doing great. Absence management is hard. No single core HR system on the market will do absolutely everything you need, the smart thing to do is use the best tech for the job. Of course, you need to be compliant with the legal legislature on working time directives. Of course, you should deliver systems in the relevant language spoken in each of your territories. But this is often hugely stressful and complex. That’s why we built Edays, to do it for you.  

6. Internal roll out

Often, if you fix the problems related to poorly managed absence it fixes the relationship between people and their employers. Leave entitlement is an employee benefit but can often be taken for granted – until it’s managed poorly. When engaging staff with a new system, give them more than ‘another hoop to jump’. Use your systems to offer wellbeing initiatives, access to medical care, and show them you know them. The real value add is where the best businesses get a competitive advantage with the best talent.    

Ultimately, you need to understand what is going to work best for your people and find a tech partner to help you do it. If you recognize the challenges above, contact us. We can help.  Alternatively, you learn more about our global capabilities here and find out how we’ve helped Syngenta overcome global absence challenges.

Start making absence matter with an intelligent, centralized solution that helps growing organizations to thrive.

See Edays in action >


Katrina Bennett People Director at edays
September 10, 2020

Katrina is edays' own People Director with significant UK and international experience in delivering people strategy and value-adding HR solutions across a range of organisations and sectors (including Arriva, Boots, Rolls Royce, the utility and charity sectors). Katrina has over 20 years of experience in Human Resources and is CIPD qualified.