Absence Management in HR Systems? It Doesn’t Work!

HR systems do not drive effective absence management. FACT! Absence Management in HR systems seems to be a case of just trying to add another feature without any real focus on helping clients attain their goals.

Many companies choose to use their HR system to do as much as possible. Anything from payroll through to talent management. A lot of HR professionals have probably come across this working with their systems on a daily basis. It does a lot of things, but it is often the case of the system being a “jack of all trades, master of none”. Is this really the best possible solution? When it comes to absence management the answer is a resounding “NO!

Absence Management in HR Systems – why it doesn’t work

There are many reasons why HR systems cannot adequately help you manage absence, but below we look at some of the obvious issues. Although an HR system will allow for a simple recording of absence it does not enable and empower line managers to monitor and manage unplanned staff absence.

Here are the key issues:

  • Managers need daily visibility of who is absent, when they expect to be back and what policy action is required to facilitate a return to full duties. An effective absence management system ‘pushes’ the line manager to investigate a concerning absence pattern, organise Review Meetings, and conduct Return to Work Interviews on the day of return to work.
  • An effective absence management system should furthermore allow both HR and Health & Safety to be alerted when managers are not taking appropriate action or a case needs further intervention.
  • An effective absence management system should produce relevant Management Information detailing both absence levels & costs broken down by department. Tracking of triggers such as number of spells and accumulated days lost should be easily available without having to manually add these.
  • If you’re paying sick pay the data accumulated doesn’t necessarily reach Payroll in time and any adjustments will need to be done retrospectively putting an additional strain on the time available to staff.
  • Without proper reporting and a data set to supply you with a proper decision-making foundation, you are not actively doing enough to cut down your absence costs. See how much absence could be costing your company with our free absence cost calculator!

HR systems can be good at many things, but not managing staff absence proactively and consistently. For this you need a dedicated absence management software. This is one of many reasons why Absence Management in HR systems doesn’t work. There are similar cases to be made for other aspects of HR systems, which is why more and more systems integrators advocate an approach whereby the HR “system” is effectively a combination of many different Best in Class solutions, all tied together through APIs or simple data export into a management dashboard. If this is something you are actively considering, you need to have a look at the best absence management software on the market today.

Please click here to find out more about our absence management software Engage and sign up for a free 30 day trial now.