How much is staff absence is costing you?

We all know staff absence is costly but what can you do to reduce that?

Every HR leader understands the impact of absenteeism only too well: on productivity, on operational and legal costs, and even on brand reputation.

But for many large organisations, quantifying that impact is tough – and reducing it, even harder.

HR leaders often lack the data they need to understand absence and its root causes. Line managers, meanwhile, lack the materials, support and confidence to effectively address absence cases within their team.

There has been lots of research around this topic however, there are three steps you can take to change this:

Step #1. Empower your people managers

Too often, the fear of saying or doing the wrong thing prevents managers effectively communicating with their staff and addressing absence issues before they escalate.

Step #2. Get proactive

Proactively manage absentee cases on behalf of line managers, nudging them to follow up at the right time and take appropriate next steps as the situation evolves.  In our experience with hiring managers we’ve seen the value of the proactive approach time and time again. If a process or technology is in place to track this, it’s far less resource intensive than you might think.

Step #3. Start pre-empting

Management information and analytics can start capturing crucial data – for example, the content and context of your line managers’ interactions with their teams – and seeking out trends and patterns in absence, organisation-wide.

So, how much could you save?

Through more effective absence management, you can cut long term sickness by as much as 45%. In many cases associated cost benefits have been huge. A major utilities business has really focused on this topic and the results have been outstanding given there is a reduction in its long-term sickness cases from 213 to 87 days a year – saving £2.15m annually. Definitely food for thought????

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