Fri 09 / 03 / 18
5 ways to effectively manage absence
First of all, let’s rename it – Let’s call it maximising attendance. Sounds a bit more positive and that’s what you need - a positive approach.
Every company has absences, but how you deal with them will be the answer to how you maximise your employee's attendance which relates to how you maximise your productivity and profit.
Here are some useful tips and approaches to ensure your employees feel supported enough and your managers feel like they’re doing all they can to “maximise attendance” in their teams.
1. Start with a clear, transparent process and communicate it. If everyone knows what your approach is then they’ll be no room for confusion or ill feeling. But it’s no good just having a policy where no one can read it or doesn’t know what it says – train your managers in it too. It’s also a good idea to include some “triggers” to invoke a more formal approach. Personally, I’m not a fan of the Bradford Factor. But you could use something like 3 absences in 6 months may be the “trigger” to deal with the absences more formally.
2. Do a return to work chat. Even if it’s half a day’s absence, don’t leave room for personal judgement – that way you’re treating everyone the same which is key to a fair, supportive process. Your aim is to check everything’s ok, identify any work issues, offer some adjustments if necessary so that you can quickly nip any underlying concerns in the bud.
3. Manage output over input. If people know what’s expected of them then it really doesn’t matter if they work from home flexibly, does it? So long as they deliver and deliver well and of course have the ability and resources to do it. But if that is too disruptive for the business, be clear and get them to understand why.
4. Look at some supportive benefits. I’m a big fan of health cash plans for business, like Simply Health. The cost is low for employers and the benefits are great. You can include employee assistance programmes, chiropractor, physio etc all does well to show a supportive approach and goes a long way to help show your appreciation too.
5. Check your culture – how do you support health and wellbeing in your company? Is it a term bandied about or has it got real clout from the top down? Do you have plans in place to check what it really means and how it’s thought of and followed through? Is what’s on offer actually taken up by the team? An audit and employee engagement survey will give you a good starting point here.
Ok, I said 5, but actually, the last one is key on so many levels when managing people and all so often gets forgotten.
6. Invest in your managers! Make sure they have all the tools and resources in place they need to support their teams through any difficulties. Have they been trained in people management approaches and practices? Do they understand the basics of good line management? They say people leave managers not businesses, so it makes sense your managers are manging in the best way possible doesn’t it.
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Thanks to Empowered People HR for writing this blog.
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