The financial impact of employee absence is significant, yet managing it is increasingly complicated, time consuming and expensive. Automating absence processes across the organisation help mitigate and reduce these costs.
Each time an employee is absent from work there is a cost involved due to lost productivity on the day, having to cover the missed shift, and the impact of not being able to accurately track various absence and leave types. The more employees an organisation has, the higher the costs.
Leslie Tarnacki, VP and GM, WFS: A WorkForce Software Company, says, “The Aberdeen Group found that organisations not actively managing absence are subject to several overlapping costs.” While HR managers spend approximately two hours per week on absence-related tasks, line managers spend almost as much time on tasks such as finding last-minute replacement workers and communicating with HR about employees taking time off.
“The same study showed that some organisations call in temporary workers and some simply accept that the work won’t get done. The majority, however, rely on existing staff or supervisors to provide coverage, which can result in unplanned overtime costs.”
Top-performing organisations are integrating absence management tools to relieve the financial and emotional burden of handling short- and long-term employee absences. WFS Australia has identified four key reasons to automate absence management:
1. Reduced manual processes
An automated system provides a clear, documented channel for handling absence requests. It can recognise patterns in absences, alerting the right people at the right time when occasional absences become more frequent. It also means all absence-related communication is contained within a single system, including medical certificates.
2. Greater accuracy
The chances of error are reduced with an automated system, preventing instances where employees continue to be paid despite using all of their allocated leave.
3. Reduced labour costs
If absence tracking is not accurate, employees may take off more time than they have earned, costing the company money. With automation comes greater transparency in how leave requests are made and granted, and how that information is communicated to the payroll department. It also lets managers plan for extended absences in advance.
4. Improved employee satisfaction
When employees have clear communication channels, immediate receipt confirmations and clarity around processes, confusion is reduced. Employees are therefore more likely to feel that leave policies are fair, making them more loyal to the organisation.
Leslie says, “It’s clear that automating absence management tasks has many benefits for employers and employees alike. And while HR directors can’t always anticipate or prevent employee absences, they can empower their organisations to respond with improved efficiency by implementing automated absence management throughout the enterprise.”
1. ^ The Aberdeen Group – Absence Management (2013)