One of the biggest problems faced by startups, small businesses and even medium-sized businesses is the challenge of absence management. And we’re not just talking about time off away from the workplace – any manager knows all too well that workers can be present but not productive. Perhaps even more surprising is how many companies don’t even make use of absence management software, in spite of the many inexpensive solutions now available. Here are some of the challenges a company faces when it comes to absenteeism.
Absence Management Software Won’t Solve Wasted Time
An astounding 89% of employees surveyed admitted to wasting at least some time at work according to Forbes back in 2015 (source) and it’s doubtful the situation has improved since then. Of these, 62% admit to wasting anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour out of each day. It also will come as no surprise that the biggest time waster continues to be personal use of technology such as emails, texts, calls, web-surfing and social media. Good old-fashioned gossiping is up near the top as well, if it makes you feel any better (it shouldn’t). While your company’s absence management software (if you have it) can’t help with the time-wasters, there are things you can do. Have clear policies and open discussion about them. Think about shifting away from hours worked to work accomplished. Define tasks that need to be completed and if an employee gets them done they can go home. That’s a much better incentive to get the work done in a timely fashion.
Outdated Ways of Absence Management Hurt Your Company
Another way that time can get wasted at work is when your company does not have absence management software. It is surprising how many companies continue to get by (or not) with paper-based systems or spreadsheets. A very small company with only a handful of employees is easy to keep track of with such systems, but when a company grows larger and has multiple locations, outdated systems will inevitably wind up causing more harm than good. Spreadsheets get larger and unwieldy, creating confusion about where the latest data can be found. Employees don’t have a good sense of where they stand in relation to time off. Everyone ends up frustrated.
So why would a company stick with such outdated absence management systems? There can be serious inertia that holds such outdated systems in place because they are at least familiar and don’t require trying to find and obtain the right absence management software. But the software task isn’t as daunting as you might think. Ease the pain by following a step-by-step process like the one we presented in our recent article, Leave Management System: What Does Your Company Need?
Legal Compliance Issues and Absence Management Software
There are also legal issues to consider when managing absenteeism. Managers will inevitably notice those employees who seem to have some kind of sickness or issue with alarming regularity on Fridays, thereby lengthening the employee’s weekend. If it gets to the point where disciplinary action or dismissal is an option, you want to have a very clear record of the excessive absences and reasons, as well as notes on any discussions you’ve with the employee about it. The right absence management software can make tracking and monitoring of all this data very easy. In fact, there are all kinds of situations where you might need to quickly access and/or present data about any given employee’s work history in terms of absences and leave. Does the system you currently have in place allow you to do that? If not, then it’s time to consider finding a good absence management software system.
Without Absence Management Software, Absenteeism is Costly
If you’re not measuring and tracking absenteeism at your company, then you really don’t have an accurate picture of what absenteeism is costing you. Absences are always going to happen, but an unplanned or unnecessary absence can really throw things off in a workplace or a team. The lost productivity is an obvious cost, but if there’s a project deadline hanging in the balance the cost can be much larger or even affect workplace morale that drags down everyone else’s productivity. Tracking and analyzing absence data can go a long way towards seeing patterns that can be addressed proactively rather than merely reacting to a crisis that might have been avoided with absence management software.
Effective management of your company needs to include effective management of absences from work, which in turns means that having the right absence management software should be a no-brainer priority if you company isn’t currently using any. We’ve already point to a previous article about a process you can follow to make sure you find the tool that’s right for your company. We’d also like you to take a closer look at look at CaptureLeave to see how it can get the job done for you. Sign up for a free trial to find out – you have nothing to lose except the current frustration you feel from not effectively managing absenteeism!