As summer approaches, businesses often experience higher levels of planned and unplanned absences. Employees are looking forward to long-planned vacations, weekend getaways, and the occasional last minute beach day or BBQ. What's essential to understand is how these absences impact your business. Without the right strategic support in place, companies can struggle to maximize productivity and hit revenue goals. Time off can impact labor costs, overtime, productivity, and employee satisfaction levels. Here is a closer look at how businesses can leverage technology and planning to help keep their employees engaged as temperatures rise.
The Financial Impact of Employee Absences
According to the Society for Human Resource Management, employee absences impact the company's bottom line. In a survey conducted by the SHRM, 75% of managers interviewed stated that employee absences have a significant impact on productivity and revenue. What's more, they estimate that managers spend an average of 4.2 hours per week dealing with absences, from communicating with employees to reorganizing schedules. This accounts for 5.3 weeks per year. Finding ways to reduce absences, particularly during certain times of the year when these activities increase, can dramatically improve a business's performance.
Implement Flexible Schedules
One of the most effective ways to increase engagement and attendance can be to implement flexible scheduling. A flexible scheduling plan means different things to different employers. But typically, employees are consulted when schedules are constructed. Requests for time off or preferences for working specific hours or days are taken into consideration when determining what employee schedules look like. While it's not always possible to meet every request, prioritizing employee preferences when possible can encourage your team to stay engaged, satisfied, and to adhere to the schedule. The right time and labor systems solutions can make it easier for managers to account for all variables when they're planning work schedules.
Use Technology to Facilitate Communication
Unplanned absences happen; using technology to facilitate communication throughout the organization can help decrease their impact. The right workforce management systems allow employees to notify managers as soon as an issue occurs, minimizing employee time spent reporting absences. Managers are able to respond more quickly, including obtaining coverage and notifying employees who are interested in extra shifts that work is available. Leveraging the right technology can help minimize the impact of an absence on the organization and reduce the logistical burden associated with addressing it.
Harness Data for Better Strategic Planning
Workforce planning technologies can help companies meet objectives by monitoring the data for trends. In a single dashboard, executives, front line managers, and HR staff are able to identify cyclical trends and better prepare to proactively manage them. It's also possible to identify individuals or departments that are most impacted by absences, so that management staff can work to address the underlying issues that may be causing absences. Data-driven workforce planning is an essential part of helping stem the tide of absenteeism in the workplace.
Absences happen—especially when temperatures are on the rise. From employee vacations to unplanned childcare issues when kids are out of school, companies need to prepare to minimize the impact on their business's bottom line. Communications, the right technological solutions, and careful planning can give managers the tools they need to address absences on the job.