Employee absences have a ripple effect on productivity. Projects come to a halt if a team member isn’t present to complete their part. Other employees may pick up the slack to meet the project deadline, but their morale is likely to suffer under the increased workload. Other attendance issues can also sew discord among staff, such as an employee who regularly arrives late without consequences.
The Types of Attendance to Track
Certain employee absences are inevitable, such as an employee falling ill or using their vacation leave. However, failing to track all areas of attendance can create blind spots that lead to chronic absenteeism. The following are the primary attendance markers companies need to know:
- Arriving late
- Leaving early
- No show without notice and without calling
- Sick leave
- Paid time off (PTO)
Some businesses offer other forms of leave, such as maternity leave, bereavement leave, and mental health days. Which metrics a company chooses to track depend largely on the company’s culture and attendance policy.
The Importance of Attendance Tracking Software
Manual attendance systems are too easy to fool. The most prevalent issue with manual systems is buddy punching. Employees may clock each other in or out to hide tardiness or early departures. Using a mobile app provides better attendance data and simplifies many aspects of absence management. A mobile app centralizes all leave requests, and it simplifies the process of requesting leave for employees.
Businesses can also use the data to identify attendance trends, which may uncover more significant issues. For example, if employees in a certain department arrive late and leave early consistently, it can indicate there is an issue with the manager. Addressing these issues early can prevent systemic absenteeism and potentially improve morale. Contact the experts at Actec to learn more about improving absence management with our absence tracking mobile app.
Keeping track of employee attendance should be a straightforward process. However, without a cohesive attendance management system, several issues can occur. Managers may report absences at different times of the day using a variety of communication methods. With HR receiving emails, texts, memos, or in-person visits on an unpredictable schedule, errors are likely to occur. However, implementing an electronic attendance system can reduce the tedium and frustrations of absence management.
Antiquated absence management processes cost time and money. Upgrading to an electronic absence reporting system can reap several benefits. The following are some key indicators that your attendance system needs an update:
- Frequent errors or inaccuracies. Manual timesheets or uncoordinated absence reporting channels are prone to error. Managers may not understand the various types of leave and misreport their employees’ absences as a result. For example, an employee may request leave that qualifies for Family Medical Leave, but the manager may report it as sick leave. Having a streamlined electronic system can eliminate these kinds of record-keeping errors.
- Productivity issues in the HR department. If HR employees are spending several hours combing through various emails, notes, and voicemails to try and track employee attendance, they’re losing valuable time. The HR department manages several essential functions that keep the business going, such as employee benefits, employee training, job design and analysis, and recruiting. Having an electronic absence reporting system can free up their time to focus on these other critical tasks.
- Employee performance is lagging. Unchecked attendance issues often result in productivity problems. Employees who arrive late, duck out early, or don’t show up put projects behind schedule. They also cause stress for their coworkers as many have to pick up the slack. Having an electronic system sends all attendance records to a centralized location, which allows HR to take note of negative attendance trends. With this data, managers can take steps to identify the cause of the absence issues as well as take steps to rectify them.
- Morale is low. Attendance can affect employee morale in several ways. They may harbor resentments toward coworkers who abuse their paid time off without repercussions. A confusing or poorly enforced system can also leave employees feeling powerless. Either way, poor absence management can result in employee disengagement. Electronic attendance software with self-service features gives employees a sense of agency and control.
If your absence management system is creating more problems than it’s solving, Actec can help. Contact us to learn about our absence tracking mobile app as well as our other absence reporting solutions.
Stress is one of the leading causes of employee absenteeism. However, stress is a multipronged issue with several sources. Some of the most common include:
- Excessive employee workload
- Issues with coworkers
- Unengaging or unsatisfying work
- Low salaries
- Limited opportunities for growth or advancement
With over three-fourths of workers reporting feeling stressed, successful managers need to make themselves aware of the stress points and take steps to mitigate them.
How to Tackle Stress in the Workplace
Identifying problems isn’t enough—great managers will take the initiative to resolve them. The following are several methods that can reduce different types of workplace stressors.
- Set clear goals and expectations. If staff members have to sit and wonder what they are supposed to be doing or what the end goal is, they are wasting time. Not only does this stress them out, it also creates delays, which can compound their stress. By providing clear instructions and appropriate details, employees will understand what they should work on and why.
- Encourage activity or exercise. Encourage employees to get moving whether they go for a walk during lunch or hit the gym. Moving the body can allow the brain to take a mental break. Staring at a screen for eight hours straight for days on end can stress an employee to the point where they become ill or lose motivation. Encouraging employees to take a 5-minute stretch break or walk every couple of hours can allow them to decompress and improve their focus.
- Imbue flexibility into your company culture. Employees have lives outside of the workplace and great managers will recognize this. Employees need flexibility to keep their work and life needs in balance. Allowing for flexible schedules so employees can come in earlier or later will help accommodate parents with children in school or employees who are attending college courses at night. Offering the ability to work an extra hour per day, four days a week so employees can take a half day on Friday can also boost morale. Implementing a work from home policy can reduce employee stress as well as it gives them the ability to work from home if they can’t come in due to caring for a sick child or family member.
- Recognize employees’ achievements. Recognizing team members’ efforts makes employees feel appreciated and valued. This can improve their engagement and productivity as well. Acknowledging hard work can be as simple as having a chat about the great work the employee has been doing or as grand as recognizing employees during meetings or events.
Great managers will make sure their employees know they care about reducing their stress. This fosters loyalty, improves workplace productivity, and reduces absenteeism due to stress. To learn more about improving employee attendance, contact the experts at Actec.
Employees miss work for a number of legitimate reasons. Vacation time, holidays, and approved leave don’t count toward the overall absenteeism rate since employers can plan for these absences. It’s the unexpected time off from work that has a significant effect on productivity, workplace morale, and profits. Employers need to gain a measure of their overall staff absenteeism rate before they can ascertain if there is a problem or take steps to rectify it. Employers should use the following to calculate their quarterly employee absenteeism rate.
- Determine the average number of employees during the given quarter. There are a few ways to determine this number. The easiest way is to take the sum of the total number of employees at the start of the quarter and the end of the quarter, then divide that number by two. Employers could also take the total sum of employees at the end of each month of the quarter then divide it by three. A third approach is to total up the payroll deposits for each pay period during the quarter then divide that number by the number of payroll periods. For this example, let’s assume there is an average of 50 employees for the quarter.
- Compute the total number of workdays in the quarter. This number should exclude legal holidays. However, it should include odd days such as additional days when a quarter starts or ends during the middle of the week. Next, employers should multiply the total number of weeks in the quarter by five since there are only five workdays to a week. Then, employers should add the total number of odd days and subtract the holidays. This will provide the total number of workdays during a quarter.
- Example: (12 weeks in a quarter x 5 workdays per week) + 4 odd days – 1 holiday = 63 workdays
- Find the total number of available workdays. Employers can do this by multiplying the average number of employees by the number of workdays determined in steps one and two.
- Example: 50 employees x 63 workdays = 3150 available workdays
- Determine how many days the company loses to absenteeism. Employers can do this by using a standard 8-hour workday to factor in fractions of a day. Let’s say an employer’s absence reporting system indicates employees called out sick once per quarter and missed an additional 3 hours per quarter outside of pre-approved vacations days and holidays. Employers would then use the following equation to determine their total number of days lost to unplanned absences.
- Example: (50 employees x 1 sick day) + (50 employees X 3/8 hours missed) = 68.75 workdays lost to absenteeism
- Calculate the quarter’s rate of absenteeism. To determine this number, employers should take the total number of days lost to unplanned absences and divide it by the total number of available workdays then express it as a fraction.
- Example: 68.75 workdays lost / 3150 available workdays = 2.18%
Once employers establish a baseline for absences, they can easily and swiftly notice a steady or sudden increase in attendance problems. Employers can then investigate if the absenteeism problem is company-wide or department-specific. Employers can use such insights to make management changes, redesign tasks, or implement steps to reduce workplace stress. To learn more about reducing absenteeism in your business, contact the experts at Actec.
On any given day as much as 10% of your workforce may be absent. Chances are, you have the historical data available to leverage your company’s productivity. Much of that data, however may be stored and tracked in different areas in order to adhere to reporting and compliance regulations. Without a method of consolidating this data, your company can’t turn this information into an effective absence management strategy.
Many companies have FMLA spreadsheets, methods of hourly time tracking, and vacation databases. This data can help you to find current gaps in your absence management plan and create actionable information that will make your company more productive. Finding a method to consolidate historical data will help you to:
- Understand the leading types of absences
- Average duration of each absence type
- Determine if there are specific site or division challenges
- Create projections for occupational classes/employee segments for business units
- Know when employees have exhausted their leave entitlement
- Approve, deny or close employee benefit claims
- Know your company’s ROI for specific absence management procedure enhancements
Reporting and compliance complexities often hinder a company’s efforts to create an effective absence management strategy. While some absence information may need to be tracked separately as a part of compliance, the company can still leverage this historical data in order to determine future trends.
Data management is an essential part of effective absence management. It will also help you determine what absence management tools your company needs to make your organization more productive. There are many Human Resource Information System, Disability and Workers Compensation vendors that can help your company consolidate your historical absence data so that you can turn it into actionable information.
Contact the experts at Actec to learn more about our proprietary software that will help you in your goal to create an effective absence management solution.
Handling employee attendance is one of the more difficult parts of managing a company. Some absences are legitimate while others are inappropriate; it is a delicate process determining which is the case. Managers cannot begin to handle absence issues without understanding why employees call out of work in the first place. Once a manager has a grasp of why employees are struggling with attendance, they can develop a plan to resolve the issue.
Common Causes of Absenteeism
Employees take paid time off (PTO) for a number of reasons—some more legitimate than others. Some of these reasons include:
- Illness or injury: Being sick or going to doctor appointments are the most common reasons employees give for missing work. This type of absence is most prolific during cold and flu season. Injuries that occur on or off the clock also sideline employees. These injuries can be acute or chronic.
- Caring for others: Another common cause of employee absence is the need to care for a child or elder when other sources of care are unavailable. For example, a parent may call out of work when their child cannot attend school due to a snow day.
- Borrowing time: Sometimes attendance issues are not related to absences. Employees who skim time off their workday can cause just as many productivity problems as those who miss the entire workday. Patterns employers should look for are employees who arrive late, leave early, or take lengthy breaks.
- Morale and motivation: Employees that are overworked or feel unappreciated have little motivation to come to work. In fact, the stress of the workplace can drive them to avoid the environment entirely. Once an employee loses their enthusiasm for their job, they are more prone to call out of work.
- Harassment: If an employee feels like a coworker or boss is bullying them, they may call out to avoid the individual.
The costs related to absenteeism and the related loss in productivity add up quickly. Some of the direct costs include lost wages paid to the absent employee, the wages paid to other employees working overtime to cover the extra work, and administrative expenses spent on managing attendance issues.
What Employers Can do to Reduce Absenteeism
There are a number of approaches employers can take to reduce absenteeism. Some of these include:
- Require a written doctor’s note for employees who call out sick.
- Offer paid sick leave in addition to paid vacation days. This will help reduce the number of employees who come into work when ill to avoid burning through their leave. This stops sick staff members from spreading their germs. The end result is fewer sick employees overall.
- Implement a health and wellness program to address employees’ physical, mental, and economic health.
Employers also need a high quality absence reporting program to track attendance and simplify the leave process for both human resources and employees. Investing in Actec’s absence reporting solutions can help managers improve productivity and combat absenteeism. Contact us to learn more.
There is a lot of talk about absence management among Human Resources professionals, but talk only goes so far. While most companies have an absence policy, less than a quarter of them record and monitor absences. Without absence data, there can be no effective absence management.
A major way record keeping can improve absence management is by providing employers with potential solutions. The data can show patterns that allow employers to develop a response plan for different types of absences. For example, musculoskeletal problems are one of the main causes for absences. If an employer creates a way for rapid access to physiotherapy after an injury, they can reduce the amount of time an employee requires before returning to work.
Absence records can also help identify habitually absent employees. For instance, an employee may call out sick every year right before a major holiday or busy season. While this employee may have a legitimate seasonal health issue, the data can provide employers with a starting point. The employer can then investigate the legitimacy of these absences and determine ways to help mitigate their frequency.
Knowledge is power. The right data can help employers learn why their staff takes time off and how to manage those absences. Contact Actec for custom solutions to meet your absence management needs.
One of the most prevalent issues that plagues employers is employee absenteeism. While most of the absences are legitimate, up to one-third of them are not related to illness. To help reduce instances of employees taking fraudulent sick days, employers can implement electronic absence reporting. Electronic absence reporting helps reduce unnecessary absenteeism in a few ways:
- Employees who know their employers are tracking how often they call out tend to rethink taking a gratuitous day off.
- By collecting absentee data, employers can gather averages for how many days employees take leave. Employees who know this information can compare their time off to the status quo. Some employees may not realize they are taking more leave than is normal without this data.
- The data can help employers target problem areas. If one department has a much higher absentee rate than the others there could be a leadership issue. The data can help employers address the issues and prevent similar problems from happening in the future. Ensuring employees are happy goes a long way to reducing absenteeism.
Employers who implement electronic absence reporting systems should be mindful when using the data. The end goal should be to support and improve employees’ workplace experiences. If employees view the data collection as a means to mete out punishment, it could have the opposite intended effect.
Employers should make it clear that any electronic reporting system is meant to enrich employees’ health and wellness while at work. To learn more about optimizing your absence reporting procedures, contact us.
Absence reporting systems provide structure to leave tracking and management, allowing organizations to ensure compliance with local, state, and federal regulatory standards. But there’s more.
A properly implemented absence reporting system can help employees to understand when and how to best use their time off, minimizing confusion and excessive simultaneous absences. In addition, promoting the use of vacation, sick time, and other leaves of absence can help employees to feel appreciate, keeping them more motivated and productive while at work. Further, promoting use of leave time within a calendar year through clear communications and a reminder system can reduce the amount of rollover. With less accrued leave time, your organization can reduce the likelihood that an employee (or several) will take extended and/or unplanned time.
All of this leads to a boost in employee morale and a decrease in workplace instability, enhancing your ability to make accurate and useful projections for productivity, operating expenses, and more. To learn more about the various advantages of absence reporting systems, contact us.
Adhering to the Family and Medical Leave Act is a management issue for many employers. If you think that you have a handle on FMLA management, you may be wrong. Most companies run into issues with FMLA compliance, and those issues can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Three Common FMLA Issues
There are three main areas where many companies struggle with FMLA compliance.
Those areas are:
- Determining if an employee has a qualifying health condition
- Deciphering State and Federal leave laws
- Tracking FMLA intermittent absences
Unknown FMLA Facts
Here are some other facts you may not realize about FMLA management:
- Tracking FMLA related absences makes up 6% of payroll costs
- The Department of Labor initiates 43% of FMLA related investigations
- If a company loses a FMLA case, it can cost over $500,000
Managing FMLA absences is important to maintain compliance. Even if you feel you have intermittent and extended absence management under control, your company may not be handling them in an efficient manner.
Effective absence management requires a comprehensive strategy and an effective way to track and manage all absences. Contact the experts at Actec to learn how they can help you track absences and ensure compliance with the Family and Medical Leave Act.