It’s an inevitable part of having staff that they will get ill and need to take time off work.
Do you feel that you have an issue with absence? Either with one person or across the board? Is there a particular illness or complaint that seems to be more frequent than others?
You may be able to answer these questions with just the knowledge that you have of your business but can you back up your suspicions with figures?
If you feel that you have problems with a certain staff member but don’t have details of their absence, you may find it difficult to tackle this issue with them.
It’s really simple to set up an absence monitoring process so that you have the information that you need during return to work interviews to ensure that people know how their absence history is affecting their business. It’s also critically important during any capability procedures.
There are a number of software programs you can purchase to help monitor staff attendance, but you don’t really need them. A spreadsheet and some formulas will do the trick just nicely and give you a wealth of information.
So, what kind of monitoring do you need to be looking at? These are just some of the patterns and trends to keep an eye on in your absence monitoring;
Patterns on days of the week: You know the ones, Mondays, Fridays, Tuesday after Bank Holiday. But some employees might have a different pattern and you need to be alive to this and explore how their personal circumstances might affect things. Does a partner work shifts and does this upset the routine at home perhaps?
Type of sickness: Do you have a high proportion of your staff off with colds, flu, stomach bugs? You’re always going to get these types of absences but if you have an unusually high number of absences, you perhaps need to consider the cleanliness of your working environment and do some education on hygiene at work to cut down on the likelihood of staff catching such illnesses from each other and having such a high effect on your workplace?
Rate of absence: You need to know what an acceptable level of absence is for your business. There’s no right or wrong here but better to set levels on the harder, than softer side to start with as it’s easier to let them out but not to bring them back in. You’ll then need to track each persons’ absence to know when to have more formal chats with them about their attendance.
Once you’ve set up your monitoring it can be a simple daily or weekly task to check things over and raise any issues that you may have with certain staff safe in the knowledge you have the information and statistics to clearly make your case.