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Table Of Contents

Absence Management Challenges

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Table Of Contents

Every day at work, your HR managers face absence management challenges head-on.

Managing teams is already a tough challenge. Absenteeism in particular is an issue that can seriously hurt a business. The following post lists three main challenges of absence management and how these can be handled.

Wasteful Absence Management Systems

Growing businesses in particular can seriously suffer from absence management challenges. Yet they are the ones who are most seriously affected by issues of absenteeism and poor employee leave management.

However, growing businesses are also prone to tracking absences through very primitive Excel-based or even paper-based systems. A wasteful absence management system creates a backlog of work and can also lead to mistakes.

HR managers and team leads stick to spreadsheets or to forms, because they are worried that the alternative will cost their teams too much money. Or they worry that the alternative would be too complicated.

Nevertheless, their basic systems are far from foolproof. Therefore, not only do paper-based or Excel-based systems waste time, they also lead to errors. Hence, it is time to consider some alternatives.

Consider Vacation Tracker for Your Absence Tracking Needs

Vacation Tracker is an alternative that has user-friendly features that won’t break the bank. If it seems too good to be true, you can sign your team up for a free 7-day trial offer and see for yourself.

Moreover, Vacation Tracker is ideal for remote teams. When a start-up grows in size, we often see these businesses acquire employees that tend to work remotely, and oftentimes in different locations. Flexible work schedules are also becoming more and more popular, particularly with the millennial generation or Gen Z.

In the context of remote work or teams spread across different cities, a paper-based system, or even an Excel spreadsheet, becomes virtually impossible to use effectively.

Not to mention, these archaic systems are also a pain in the neck of the young and modern workforce, who no longer see the point of filling out a physical form for anything.

Therefore, having a wasteful system to manage leaves or time off is one of the root causes of your HR department’s absence management challenges.

Legal issues can arise when certain absence management problems are not dealt with properly.

First of all, employees can become very frustrated when they believe they haven’t been given all of the leave time that they are entitled to. Without the proper absence management system in place, it becomes very tricky for managers to know who’s taken their leave and when.

Secondly, tracking different types of leave is also really important. This can give managers valuable information and answer valuable questions, such as: how often can one suffer from “Friday Sickness” before it is time for an intervention?

Third of all, let’s say certain employees have found a loophole in the basic Excel spreadsheet system, and have gotten access to extra paid leave. Has that ever happened in your organization?

These situations happen all the time, and unfortunately, they may go completely unnoticed. Yet, the worst part about a scenario like that one is that another employee may want a few extra paid days off, but might not know how to game the system. The feeling of unfairness can mount, and lead to workplace dissatisfaction or to even legal action.

Pick a System That Tracks Leaves Accurately

In any instance of recurring issues with absenteeism, every HR manager knows that building a solid case is critical. Therefore, you should always pick an absence management system that allows you to record the exact quantity and types of leaves that were taken by your team.

Another scenario that makes proper absence tracking crucial is an employee who takes a long-term leave of absence due to illness. Although unfortunate, long-term illnesses can happen at any time, and can affect employees of any age.

Therefore, it is interesting for these cases to have a record of all previous absences, with accompanying reasons. HR managers will also need to make adjustments to the number of days off that this employee has access to once they return to work.

A leave could also be granted due to a work-related accident. In North America, businesses are mandated by law to keep a record of workplace incidents. Therefore, a robust absence management system can help to keep a record of absences, including the reason for the time off.

Overall, with a solid history of employee leaves, legal issues and absence management challenges can be avoided.

Absenteeism is Hurting Your Bottom Line

Now that we have highlighted a few absence management challenges, let’s talk about cost. The cost of absenteeism is sometimes not immediately visible. It can however be pervasive and hurt your bottom line.

For example, your employees may be taking too much-paid leave or not taking enough. In both cases, your company loses. When an employee is overworked and not taking his or her earned time off, resentment and negativity can build. This may just result in a long-term leave.

In another type of bottom-line-hurting scenario, a tight-knit team might be working on a tight schedule. If a person takes a sick day or two once every week, their team could fall behind on their deadline. If teams are working remotely, this absenteeism issue might not even rise to the surface before it’s too late.

To monitor a team is the manager’s job. Therefore, every good manager should want to have a proper leave management tool in place for his or her team.

To conclude, we know that Excel-based or paper-based systems don’t work for the millennial and Gen Z workforce. It’s also impossible to maintain the system if you have remote workers or workers in different locations.

The Vacation Tracker app for Slack will not hurt your bottom line. Moreover, it was built with start-ups in mind. Vacation Tracker has a slew of ever-expanding features, to help you solve all of your absence management challenges.

Kristina Ousmanova
Kristina Ousmanova

Kristina recently left behind fast-paced life of Human Resource Business Consulting to freelance as a Content Writer. A regular Vacation Tracker contributor, she can be found working remotely from her home in Montreal, usually while eating a variety of snacks.

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