Businesses can’t function much less turn a profit if the employees don’t show up to do the work. When absences begin piling up, it has a domino effect on the rest of the company. Projects may fall behind schedule if a key employee is regularly missing. This bleeds into other projects as well as team members may need to stop what they’re doing to catch up on the absent employee’s work. This effects workplace morale as well, causing a company-wide productivity problem.
Without adequate absence management software, managers will struggle to keep track of which employees have impeccable attendance, spotty attendance, or rampant absenteeism. Before taking any action, however, managers need to determine the cause of the absence as many are legitimate. Some common examples include:
- Calling out sick
- Doctor’s appointments
- Paid time off (PTO) such as vacation days
- Maternity/Paternity leave and other leave protected by the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA)
- Religious holidays
- Unpaid, approved leave
- Jury duty
Whether the absence is valid or not, employees should give notice before the day itself with the exception of requesting sick leave. Having an absence management system in place allows managers to keep track of excused and unexcused absences.
The Benefits of an Absence Management System
Absence management systems keep all attendance data in a centralized location. This allows managers to simplify tracking attendance, tardiness, leave requests, and absenteeism. It also lets managers identify trends such as an individual employee that frequently arrives late or calls out of work without notice. With that information, managers can make data-driven decisions and changes to reduce attendance issues, address work-related problems contributing to absenteeism, and improve productivity.
Mobile Absence Tracking
With COVID-19 forcing many businesses to shift to a remote workforce, tracking attendance is more challenging than ever. Having a mobile app to manage leave requests and track absences reduces confusion and simplifies absence management. Actec’s absence tracking mobile app provides employees with several channels for submitting leave requests including telephonic, text/chat, and directly through the mobile app itself. This allows employees to choose the method they’re most comfortable with, which is vital to ensure employees follow attendance policies and procedures. To learn more about mobile absence tracking, contact the experts at Actec.
It can be difficult for employers to address employee absenteeism for a variety of reasons. Some absences employers can identify as fraudulent. For example, an employee who always calls out sick the day before or after a holiday is likely abusing their sick leave. Another possible misuse of leave could be an employee who always has a family emergency crop up right before a major deadline. While some of these absences may be legitimate, employers who notice attendance patterns need to address it.
How to Discuss the Problem
Employers need to address absenteeism when they first notice it. However, there are good and bad methods of leading an attendance conversation with an employee. Below are several tips for employers to ensure the conversation is productive.
- Remain aware that the meeting is investigative in nature and not disciplinary. Adjust your tone to one of concern rather than threatening. The employee is a member of your team and the emphasis should be on resolving a problem rather than issuing a reprimand.
- Ensure the meeting is private. Public areas such as the employee’s cubical are inappropriate and are not conducive to a productive outcome.
- Have your facts ready before the meeting. Know the dates of all absences, reasons given for the absences, etc. Not being prepared can have the opposite intended result of the meeting. The employee may not take your concern seriously if you have not done the appropriate legwork.
- Ask the employee for more details about the absences. There may be a genuine problem contributing to the ongoing attendance problem such as a sick family member or lack of adequate childcare. If the problem is ongoing, try to offer solutions such as a flexible schedule or shifting workdays to allow the employee to take care of their personal life as well as their professional life.
- Explain to the employee that their absences are affecting operations. Many employees do not believe their role is significant enough to hinder productivity if they miss a day every now and then. Providing concrete data that shows how their unplanned time off affects sales can highlight the cost of their absences.
After meeting with the employee, continue to monitor their attendance. Employers need to address any continued absences or improvements. If you observe a noticeable improvement in the employee’s attendance, be sure to let them know you appreciate their efforts.
Some absences are unavoidable. However, employers need to address attendance issues before they become habitual. Taking the right approach to managing absences can yield much better results than going on the offensive. To learn more about absence management, contact the experts at Actec.