Five Signs Your Company Needs an Absence Management Program

Ensuring that there are enough workers to cover all the essential day to day business operations can be a difficult and time-consuming task for any company owner or HR manager. Especially as a company gets larger, keeping track of employees’ holidays, sick leave, and other absences can almost feel like a full-time job in itself.

To alleviate this problem, many companies turn absence management programs. But what exactly is an absence management program and how do you know if your company needs one?

What is an absence management program?

In its simplest terms, an absence management program is a central program in which HR professionals and managers can keep track of employees’ absences, as well as input any upcoming vacation or scheduled leave. It helps to ensure that there are enough workers scheduled to be at the company at any given time, and it can also alert managers when an employee has an inordinate amount of unscheduled absences or certain patterns of absenteeism, allowing the manager to address the issue early on.

An absence management program can be as simple as an Excel spreadsheet. But, for reasons we will discuss, this is not ideal – especially for larger companies.

Modern absence management programs are usually cloud-based. They can send notifications to your HR department when there is a problem, and they can allow for employees to access their own information from any device.

How do you know if your company needs an absence management program?

Just about any business can benefit from an absence management program, but if your company is experiencing any of the following, you probably have more reason than most to invest in one.

1. Too many mistakes are being made.

When absences are not being properly recorded, employees may end up getting more vacation time or paid sick leave than they are actually entitled to. This can damage productivity and profitability. Or, if too many employees are off on vacation at once because of poor record keeping, that can also stifle productivity and leave the employees who are working feeling resentful.

2. Absence tracking is taking up too much administrative time.

As mentioned earlier, keeping track of absences can be a time-consuming process, but it can be simplified considerably by the use of a central program.

3. Your holiday requests are still paper-based.

If your employees still have to fill out a paper request for holiday time and then get it signed by a manager, it may be time to update to a digital system. An absence management program allows your employees to go online anywhere and submit their requests.

4. Version control problems

One of the main problems with using a spreadsheet to track employee absences is version control. If multiple people within the organization have editing access, it can be easy to save over the wrong version. This is especially true around the holiday season when you likely have many vacation requests coming in all at once.

5. Missing information

Especially in the case of unscheduled absences, HR managers need to have certain information about the cause of the absence. This can be difficult to track down when employees are away.

With an absence management program, employees can be required to fill out an online form. When they skip a required field, the program will prompt them to fill it in before allowing them to submit.

If you would like to further explore the benefits of implementing an absence management program within your own organization, we can help. Contact us today to learn more.

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