How to: Implement Absence Management?

One thing Honeydew knows how to do well is implement Absence Management effectively. However we also know that it can be tricky for companies to implement a new and better way of dealing with staff absenteeism. We are here to make it simple for you to encourage as many of your team to embrace an improved approach to maximising attendance.Follow these simple steps and you will be much more likely to succeed when you do implement absence management policies and systems in your company.

1)   Get the communication right

It needs to be made clear to all employees and management that there is going to be a new way of reporting absence. E-mails and notices around the work place can work wonders, but nothing is better than departmental meeting sessions with someone that really knows the new system. For example, an employee from the company whose system you are implementing or a trained advisor. Make sure employees know your absence policy and if there is a phone number to remember, leaflets with the number or even a text message campaign can be a good way to get everyone to store the number on their phone for when it’s needed.

2)   Ensure robust data collection

Make sure you collect absence data consistently to make sure all employees are following the agreed procedure. The data will allow you to track the absence issues in your organisation and will empower your managers in making decisions on how to handle their absentees. If you don’t have good data, you won’t be able to assess what your staff attendance is like and it’ll be impossible to track any improvements you may achieve.

Remember ‘good absence management starts with good data’

3)   Tell line managers what is expected of them

All line managers (LMs) should receive training and guidance on how to handle absence. Don’t expect them to be experts in this without any briefing. LMs are in a key position when it comes to tackling absence and you should give them all the right tools to do this effectively. The LM’s job of completing return to work interviews and taking further action when employees reach unacceptable absence levels needs to be done consistently and fairly. All employees should be treated the same and staff should know that the absence policy you’ve announced is being followed through. If you are going it alone, you can give us at Honeydew a call for help in arranging training.

4)   Make sure you have auditable data and regular reviews

Once your managers know what they need to do and when, the job doesn’t end there. Keeping an eye on your data to watch the trends and to follow the managers’ compliance rates will give you important insight into how you can improve attendance. Identifying those managers who are struggling to keep up with their tasks is a great indicator of what training needs should be addressed and regularly reviewing the data ensures that data collection is maintained and your policy is applied consistently. And if it starts looking like there are lacklustre attitudes to the process, it might be time to launch an absence related campaign or an employee engagement initiative. You have to be persistent if you want to implement absence management within your organisation.

The process of implementing effective absence management is an important one and can have great gains if change is managed well. These key steps are essential for building a culture of attendance. Although they may seem straight forward, these tasks are also time consuming and require on-going dedication. This is why some companies decide to bring in help from service providers like Honeydew to ensure all runs smoothly with minimum disruption to the rest of the business when they have to implement absence management systems.

So if you’re stuck for someone to turn to, Honeydew is always here!