24x7 Absence Management Service
The organisation is the flag carrier of Australia and its largest airline. In 2015, faced with the pressure to significantly reduce costs and drive improved operational outcomes, the company engaged Direct Health Solutions (DHS) to assist with designing and implementing a comprehensive absence management solution across its Contact Centre operations in Hobart, Sydney, Brisbane and Auckland.
The objectives of the program were to reduce costs associated with absenteeism, minimise additional administrative burden on managers, improve workflow efficiencies, and increase employee engagement and wellbeing. Further, front-line leaders were in great need of specialised absence management training and improved absence data analytic skills, and employees needed more consistent and constructive support during and following an absence from work.
“We have successfully achieved a reduction in absenteeism. The absence management reporting is second to none. It provides our business with the information we need to manage absence and promote the health and wellbeing of our staff.” (National Contact Centre Manager)
In July 2015, the 24×7 Healthline was implemented and offered to all Contact Centre staff in Australia and New Zealand. The Healthline aimed to provide:
- Access to immediate and quality health care from trained Registered Nurses
- A consistent and fair process for all staff reporting in sick/absent for work
- A means to educate staff on health and prevent foreseeable illnesses
- Early detection and intervention of work-related absences
Managers gained access to real-time reporting and were skilled-up to analyse data to identify causes, patterns, and insights into hotspot areas. A DHS Program Manager was assigned and regular meetings were set-up with each Contact Centre Site Manager/senior leaders to provide further in-depth review of absence red flags, and areas where attendance had shifted in a counteractive or positive direction.
After a one year pilot, the organisation quickly recognised the significant benefits of a robust set of processes, notification procedures, return to work management practices, wellbeing support, and increased leadership capability. There was unanimous agreement amongst the Executive Committee to extend the program beyond its initial reach, and for the initiative to become an essential part of everyday business operations.
Since the outset of the program in 2015, the company has realised an absence reduction rate of 27% year on year. This is despite the constant flux of change as a result of restructures, site closures, a revised leadership structure, newly appointed frontline leaders, redundancies, and roster changes. This proves the robustness and true sustainability of the DHS absence management solution.