Is Absenteeism a Problem? You Need More Flexible Shift Scheduling


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Friday, October 29, 2021

Absenteeism is a common problem in a wide range of workplaces and is one of the most common problems managers face. The solution is tied to why employees are absent and what employers can do to alleviate the issues which lead to this.

Article 5 Minutes
Is Absenteeism a Problem? You Need More Flexible Shift Scheduling

On average, shift workers in the US cost companies around $2,660 in excess absenteeism costs every year. Shift workers and deskless workforce bear the brunt of short notice shift changes and committing to a working roster that may not fit their personal life. Shift work, in its nature, may change week by week but, understandably, absenteeism levels are higher in sectors where employees may be scheduled to work shifts they can’t do due to other commitments.

Flexibility really matters for shift workers. It’s often the reason they chose the kind of work they do, yet often they’re required to work shifts that are unmanageable. Quinyx’s The State of the Deskless Workforce 2021 report found 40% of deskless workers say they would rather have a flexible schedule than a pay raise and 30% say they’ve left a job due to lack of notice in scheduling changes. This shows the importance of flexibility and better shift scheduling to meet the needs of the workforce and bring absenteeism down.

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Shift workers need flexibility

Last-minute fixes to the schedule due to personal events such as birthdays or unexpected accidents or illnesses are commonplace in the white-collar world, with employees able to discuss things together and make decisions about the next steps. For the deskless workforce and shift workers who may only cross paths once or twice a week, it isn’t quite as easy. There’s usually no effective platform for keeping shift workers updated on changes and they may be asked to cover or drop a shift with very little notice, causing difficulties for them in their personal life.

Scheduling employees properly can make a huge difference and improve retention, as well as cutting back on absenteeism rates. Deskless employees and shift workers don’t tend to have email access or any contact at all with the management level of the company, so it’s understandable that they may feel forgotten. Effective shift scheduling technology can change this and revolutionize the world of work for shift workers.

Under-scheduled workers may find themselves looking for better work opportunities while over-scheduled workers run the risk of burnout so a better and more flexible schedule suits all, including the company. Payactiv Connect has been developed to solve this problem.

Payactiv Connect for a flexible, satisfied workforce

Payactiv Connect serves as an effective mobile solution to communicate issues between companies and their employees. It makes it easy to keep your employees well-informed about any company announcements, allowing them to react in real-time and reorganize their schedule if necessary. It also puts employees in control over their work schedule beyond their contracted or set hours.

The Shift Scheduling feature allows employees to access the roster and where there are open shifts, they can request to cover them rather than extra shifts being added to their week without asking them in advance. Empowering employees with this tool helps them feel valued at work and in control of their work-life balance. Employees are often more willing than you think to work additional hours but they need to be able to schedule them to suit their home life, and Payactiv Connect makes this possible.

There are always some shifts that are more difficult to cover than others, such as late nights, overnights, and holidays. To solve this, employers can utilize Payactiv’s TimelyPay which allows employees to access up to 65% of their earned wages once the shift is over. This extra employee incentive helps keep employees motivated and makes those tricky shifts easier to fill.

Absenteeism is often linked to employers having unfair expectations of their staff, and shift and deskless workers often find they’re obliged to work late, cover additional shifts or miss prescheduled personal events due to work. Giving employees the chance to plan their extra shifts helps give them more control and you’ll find many will work more hours this way too.

High levels of absenteeism is a company-wide problem

If your organization has high levels of absenteeism across the board then you may have a company-wide problem and may need to reevaluate your hourly employee benefits. If you have individuals with a consistently large number of absences, then it’s important to explore their personal circumstances and offer support where necessary. A Gallup survey found engaging employees can result in a 41% reduction in absenteeism and a 24% decrease in turnover.

Centralizing communications using applications like Payactiv Connect ensures all employees feel connected and part of the organization. Managers should also take time to engage with employees who have higher than average levels of absenteeism. You may find there are genuine reasons for this and you may be able to support them with better shift patterns, the ability to call in sick when necessary, or provide time off for personal issues if required. You’ll never know if you don’t ask so communication remains essential if you want to deal with the employee absenteeism problem effectively.

Historically the deskless workforce has been left in the dark when it comes to workplace technology and we’re working to change that. More organizations are recognizing the benefits of utilizing the latest technologies to support and inform their deskless workers, for both themselves and their employees. Research from Emergence shows 70% of the deskless workforce want more technology and believe it would help them do their jobs better. There’s no reason why businesses can’t offer their shift working employees access to the tools they need to work in a way that suits their lifestyle and still satisfy the business goals.

Absenteeism is a problem for all businesses, but it’s much more prevalent in industries with high volumes of shift and hourly workers. Providing them with a little more control over their schedule and the chance to feel like a valued part of the organization can help reduce that sick day count and reduce your overall cost of absenteeism.

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Payactiv is the best way for employees to get financial relief between paychecks, a service needed by two-thirds of the workforce. We give businesses the tools essential to ease the financial stress of their employees and build a higher performing workforce.


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