Are you unlocking the value of your absenteeism data?

Workforce data can be a powerful tool to not only track and monitor the health of your workforce, but also identify trends and tipping points and to more effectively manage HR cases and issues and escalate them before a situation gets out of control.

Absenteeism is complex to manage internally, and often gets ignored. It also puts excessive strain on other employees, impacts co-workers, damages culture, and reduces profitability. But absenteeism can tell you a lot about the engagement, health and wellbeing of your workforce. Real-time tracking of absence with a specialist absence tracking and reporting system like AbsenceTrack, can be one of the most effective ways to get control of absenteeism, and therefore the overall health and wellbeing of your employees.

Power of BI reporting

Effective absence management requires a strategic lens incorporating systems and reporting, processes and management practices to positively shift an organisation’s absence culture.

Robust policy application, real-time tracking, data analysis, employee health and wellbeing support, and proactive management are all elements that formulate a corporate-wide absence framework.

This data then informs live tracking, reporting, business insights (BI), and management workflows.

Using BI, an organisation can benchmark absence rates, drill into individual absence records, better understand why employees are taking time off with detailed reason analysis, prompt management or RTW interviews, as well as inform risk, consistency of policies, drive compliance, and more.

Trigger management

Automated trigger management informed by organisational data can be a powerful tool to reduce absenteeism.

Automated trigger management ensures line managers look more closely at employee absences, senior managers are alerted to employees who have high levels of absence, and when absence keeps escalating, HR is alerted to ensure the case is being managed appropriately.

Too often, cases are permitted to continue without intervention. Trigger management helps address absenteeism constructively and consistently for everyone involved.

The Bradford Factor

The Bradford Factor is a simple formula that calculates a score for each employee, by applying a relative weighting to unplanned absence. It’s designed around the principle that repeat short-term absence has a greater impact on productivity than sporadic long-term absence. The higher an employee’s score, the more disruptive their absence patterns are for the organisation.

The formula for the Bradford Factor is E x E x D = B. E is the number of episodes of absence and D is the total number of days absent in a rolling 52-week period. If you implement the Bradford Factor score as a tracking mechanism, you can easily identify employees whose absence has the most impact on your organisation.

The DHS absence management platform allows you to set alerts for when a particular score is triggered on the Bradford Factor scale. You can then schedule meetings with the flagged employees to see if there is anything you can do to help.

Read the DHS Bradford Factor White Paper.

Data can be leveraged in multiple ways to help improve the wellbeing of a workforce and therefore reduce absenteeism. BI reporting not only includes real time absence management, it can also help to surface trends and issues so early intervention can be applied. When used with automated trigger management and the Bradford Factor, organisations can better monitor and intervene when it comes to employee issues, in less time, and with more effectiveness.

Early intervention is key

Data collection and analysis also allows for early intervention of HR issues. By using a centralised software, such as AbsenceTrack, HR leaders can take on a strategic role to turn insight into action. By analysing trends in absence activity in real-time, such as duration of a case by reason, and other key metrics, HR can identify people and behavioural risks that require proactive outreach.

What follows can be open discussions encouraging employees to voice their concerns and request help, with effective management support, in particular with the more complex cases that require further investigation.

With great data, an organisation can use reporting to understand both the work, and non-work factors contributing to illness, work stress, and the relationship between absenteeism and workplace culture. In this way, HR managers can ensure they are proactively assisting an employee’s wellbeing, before an issue turns into a mental health problem. This in turn will have a positive effect on absenteeism and foster a healthier, happier working environment.

To find out more about why mastering absenteeism is critical to strengthen your business, download our free guide. Complete with factsheets, checklists and quick tips, this guide is critical for any organisation serious about managing absenteeism now, and for the future.