Enable Group | May 19, 2023
For Employers ● 3 min read
Every organisation has their unique policies and procedures regarding employee absences, but these must be effectively communicated to the staff and managers alike for them to work as effectively as possible. Furthermore, all this needs to be proactively and appropriately applied by HR and management, or an outsourced HR services in Singapore.
Traditionally, absenteeism has been associated with employee sickness. However, in today’s work environment, it can also indicate a lack of engagement or feeling overworked. There might also be underlying factors contributing to absences, such as a chronic illness spreading within the office or issues within a particular line manager or department. Regardless of the reasons, leaders must be capable of dealing with absences efficiently and empathetically.
With high inflation rates affecting various countries, individuals face increased pressure in their daily lives, which may persist even after the initial impact of the pandemic. Employers are now recognising that mental health can significantly impact employee performance, just like physical health does. Since mental health issues are often harder to identify than physical ailments, it has never been more crucial for HR teams to identify trends and potential problems related to absenteeism at the earliest possible stage to improve employee satisfaction.
The Financial Impact of Employee Absenteeism
Managers monitoring absence rates can get an overview of their team’s performance, engagement level, and overall well-being. But with the financial cost of such absences usually getting overlooked and with absence rates being at their highest in a decade, it is more important than ever to adopt effective absence management going forward.
The direct cost of absences includes compensating the absent employee if they filed for paid leave, combined with any overtime done by another employee working extra hours or covering the duties of their absent co-worker, and loss of business output. When it comes to indirect costs, which may include recruiting temporary employees and supporting and training other existing employees, added pressure on the rest of the workforce caused by extra workload, and lost time on getting replacements up-to-speed with how things are done and making them sufficiently productive.
Since all these add up in the bigger picture, it is paramount to quickly pinpoint a trend of higher-than-usual absenteeism and nip it in the bud before it develops into a wider-reaching and more expensive issue.
The Value of HR Software for Absence Management
HR tools such as human resources information system (HRIS) or payroll HRMS software play a vital role in simplifying the recording of absences. It makes it measurable and comparable externally and internally so that leaders can identify any underlying trends and understand and address their potential root causes.
On top of that, these tools can ensure line managers follow the best practices and aid leaders in keeping track of absence rates across teams and comparing them against external benchmarks. The software-generated reports can then highlight when employees reach a trigger threshold and indicate when it is necessary to hold further conversations on reducing absence levels and whether extra support for employees is required.
Lastly, HR software tools have features that let organisations manage absences regarding forward planning and strategic staffing. The data it gathers can help managers account for when absences are likely to occur and ensure the company is adequately staffed during such periods. This avoids the costs mentioned previously and mitigates potentially reduced business output.
Staying on top of absenteeism is essential to determine the cause of its increasing severity and mitigate the cost of a reduced headcount during daily operations. By leveraging technology to uncover insights about why more and more employees are not at work, leaders can turn things around early and ensure the business’s output only goes up and never down.
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