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Retail & Entertainment

24x7 Absence Management Service

Direct Health Solutions (DHS) were engaged by this major client in 2011 to implement a comprehensive absence management model, with impressive results.

“DHS is an integral part of our business. Since going live with DHS in 2011, we have achieved significant absence reductions. We continue to engage DHS to help us shift our entitlement culture and drive a behaviour change across the division.” (GM Table Games)

The Solution

Due to significant business growth since 2011, the client needed to expand the program and re-invigorated the approach. DHS tailored a multi-tiered program to include targeted development of all senior leaders, middle managers, and front line leaders. It was a strategic initiative to reduce the cost of absenteeism from 2.8% to 2.5% through the rigorous management of employee return to work practices and wellbeing management.

The solution aimed to:

  • Increase managers overall absence management engagement and compliance (both at the front line and senior levels)
  • Build senior leader capability in absence case coaching to address more serious and complex absence cases
  • Up-skill managers at all levels in the identification and management of mental illness in the workplace
  • Align DHS reporting with the company’s absence reduction targets (example a new “traffic light report” for senior executives)
  • Improve employee engagement and overall wellbeing at work


Feedback that was collected from participants at the end of the training program delivery was outstanding. The most beneficial parts of the program for managers were:

  • Getting clarity on the consistency/inconsistency in absence management across the business unit
  • Access to the new reporting pack, particularly the “traffic light report” and the “chronic teams report”
  • Understanding how coaching relates to the management of challenging absence cases
  • The alternative approaches to having the conversation and understanding how to get employee buy-in
  • Having a structured approach to the return to work conversation and looking at the whole person

From a broader organisational perspective, the following benefits included:

  • Better support for new managers (at both the frontline and senior levels) that weren’t across the system/reporting and its benefits
  • An increase in return to work and case coaching compliance
  • Improvement in the quality of note taking and the identification of employee actions
  • Early intervention of mental health cases and referral to HR for support
  • An overall reduction in absence levels