Unplanned Absences: The Productivity Killer

Innovation in HR and business in 2018 emphasized how happy, healthy and present employees can positively influence an organization. Study after study outlined how engaged employees, meaning those actively committed to an organization’s goals and purpose and who care about their role within the company, boost organizational productivity, lower costs and reduce employee turnover while raising morale and engagement. The health and well-being of an organization are also positively linked to employee engagement.

Employee health and well-being will be a top priority for most HR and Management professionals in 2019. Having the visibility to notice trends in your employees’ absences, such as an occasional day off becoming more and more frequent, is the first line of defense when absenteeism starts lowering your productivity and engagement and raising your costs.

In 2017, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) estimated that almost 3 percent of an employer's workforce was absent on any given day, so if your organization has 1,000 employees, there’s 30 people missing work and leaving their tasks for someone else to make up. According to a CCH Unscheduled Absence Survey, absenteeism is also at its highest level since 1999.

When unscheduled absences take place, it can have a snowball effect on your entire workforce. When someone is out, many times, someone else must cover. The person covering is either coming in on their day off or working an extended shift and there are also other considerations such as: does the person covering have the right skill set or are they over-qualified? In certain cases, it is the manager or supervisor who ends up stepping in to fill the void.

So, not only is the absent employee in question lowering their own productivity levels, but according to SHRM, those employees who are covering for an absent co-worker are nearly 30% less productive and supervisors are 15% less productive due to strains on their own workload. On top of that, your organization could be incurring the costs of unscheduled overtime or paying more for another resource than was originally planned. When this starts to take place, it can also negatively impact your company’s bottom line. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that productivity losses due to employee absenteeism costs a total of $225.8 billion each year in the U.S. alone.

Gaining Insight and Visibility into Your Workforce

Not every absence can be prevented, sometimes people are ill or out for legitimate reasons. However, identifying patterns of the abusers can help organizations take some of the sting out of dealing with absences by giving managers the means to address the absences and take proper corrective actions. Utilizing powerful workforce management technology to combat absenteeism could save your organization upwards of $1,685 per employee from lost productivity, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Workforce management systems, such as Kronos Workforce Dimensions, can help you reduce the impact of employee absence on your organization by:

·         Increasing visibility - Identify trends and problems before they occur by setting automated thresholds for time-off, insuring your workforce always has enough people and limiting same-day time-off requests.

·         Real - time monitoring - Ability to do more than ever on your mobile device! Generate and attach documents, review and approve leave cases, all in real-time in the palm of your hand.

·         Eligibility insights - FMLA, sick time and vacation leave eligibility can be automatically determined making attendance management objective and compliant.

Having the right tools and processes in place, are paramount in making sure that organizations aren’t caught off-guard by eroding productivity and profit margins when dealing with absenteeism. Once they have the right solution in place, they can begin to take advantage of other features, such as self-service data access where employees and supervisors alike will be able to submit-time off requests, notify team members of upcoming absences and request shift swaps all with one-click to further streamline their processes. Managing absences is an ongoing opportunity for organizations to maintain productivity, lower costs and to make sure they are optimizing their workforce.

Contact our team today to speak about best practices and learn how other businesses are utilizing WFM automation for absenteeism.