Employee absenteeism can be a significant cost on employers… in terms of lost productivity, company culture, and bottom-line profitability. But is employee absenteeism a result of personal issues or employer environmental issues? The answer is it’s likely both. But do you know the cost of your absenteeism? It is argued by some that only a small percentage of employers actually measure the impact of absenteeism. If you’re not one of them, fortunately, there are affordable tools available to reduce the large cost of absenteeism.
The usual answers might be to implement an employee wellness program, look for activities and programs to reduce stress levels across the organization, allow for remote work when staff members are sick, or update your Handbook to make accountability and time off more clear or manageable for employees. We’ll take a more technology-driven approach here.
Technology Makes Accountability More Manageable
Certainly there are many factors that lead to absenteeism. On the employer side, it begins with accountability, or how companies track and hold employees accountable for their time. If you want results, typically, measurement is required. If your company attendance policy lacks some structure, that’s part of the problem, and when an imbalance is perceived… big cultural problems begin to develop.
But if you lack standard tracking tools to ensure employees are aware of their own attendance habits, you should almost expect abuse. Historically, this technology has been costly or inconvenient. Today, it’s simple to use, affordable, but also very smart. It’s called automated time and attendance or advanced employee scheduling. It reduces the paper trail challenge of tracking and approving employee time and exceptions down to minutes. The good news is, you can have a timekeeping solution set up very quickly and inexpensively.
Convenience Leads to Employee Accountability
Inconvenience is one of the greatest contributors to employee time mismanagement. When employers ask employees to manage spreadsheets, manual timesheets or otherwise, accountability is a time-consuming burden. Employees don’t necessarily seek to avoid accountability… but it can be cumbersome to adhere to, especially for managers who lack the time to handle the added administration.
With a mobile app, for example, employees get convenience and employers get accountability. Employees can manage their timesheet, paid time off, time card approvals, and employee schedules with ease. With an automated time and attendance solution that offers mobile or instant online access, employees can conveniently manage their time and better plan for absence allowances.
Give Employees More Control Over PTO
For some employers, managing absences and paid time off is a real administrative struggle. With a lack of reporting and tools, absences tally up with limited understanding of how that factors into time off hours throughout the year. Another stress is time off requests. Supervisors are busy, HR has lots to manage, and employees often don’t feel they have control over their paid time off. It may even be stressful just to ask.
With great technology, this all changes. Supervisors have instant access to the data they need to make quick approval decisions. Employees can easily see how much time is available and what days are better than others for time off as other employees may be asking for the same days. Also, employees can better manage their time off from long-term perspective. When PTO requests are simple and convenient to manage, morale improves and employees can better manage how much time they are accruing and using.
Advanced Employee Scheduling Reduces Absences
Creating and adjusting employee schedules simply takes a lot of time for managers. As a result, it may not be practical for supervisors to allow for changes. But when employees are sick or have emergencies, absences may be necessary. Smart, employee scheduling, however, can minimize the disruption and cost of these changes. Through a simple Shift Trade Board that uses email and text collaboration, employees and supervisors can re-route and fill shifts almost effortlessly and within minutes. Supervisors can even see who the best alternatives are for shifts using a “Best Fit Wizard.” Now, supervisors have quick, qualified replacements for potential absences and employees are better positioned to plan around them.
Employee absenteeism is not something you can eliminate altogether, but you can minimize the cost through simple, affordable technology. Contact us at 941 Timekeeping to learn more about ways to reduce labor costs and absenteeism.