3 Ways Employee Absence is a Nightmare for HR


HR Insights for ProfessionalsThe latest thought leadership for HR pros

Monday, September 24, 2018

Employee absence can present a significant challenge for HR but being aware of the potential problems it can cause is the first step towards limiting the damage.

Article 2 Minutes
3 Ways Employee Absence is a Nightmare for HR

Whether it's short- or long-term sick leave, turning up late or planned holidays, employee absence can pose a significant problem for HR.

But many companies are unaware what impact employee absence can have on their organization until it happens. This often means there's no time to prepare or limit the damage it could have, resulting in an HR nightmare.

So what is it about employee absence that makes it such a headache for HR?

It damages morale

For both short and long-term employee absences, the burden can often fall on other employees. Rather than putting proper strategies in place, companies often just divvy up the work among the rest of the team. This means staff not only have to complete their own projects but also help finish others to make up for the missing team member.

Relying on other people taking the slack isn't really an employee absence strategy and can lead to morale being severely damaged, especially if the situation isn't communicated effectively to staff.

Time and attendance software can be a valuable tool to allow teams to quickly and reliably communicate any shortfall of resource to other departments as soon as they become aware of the situation. This can be a fantastic way to better prepare for unexpected or planned employee absences. 

Raises stress levels

Giving employees additional work and little or no time to prepare is the perfect recipe for a workplace with rocketing stress levels. This can not only have an impact on their physical and mental health but can also mean dire consequences for the positive company culture you've worked so hard to cultivate.

It's likely that this increased tension in any working environment will also damage their ability to collaborate successfully with other team members or drive creative ideas. This means it could cost your company in missed opportunities.

Jeopardizes most-valued accounts

Companies understand the value of their most talented employees but what happens when they're not there? Whether it's their ability to address clients, creativity in projects, or just sheer dedication that makes them stand out from the rest, their absence in particular can hurt an organization.

Regardless of whether it's a sudden absence due to illness or personal matters, a planned holiday or they start showing up late to work because of other problems, it can put your bottom line in jeopardy. Your business is built on the success of your most-prized talent so it makes sense to give them your most-valued accounts. However, this means when they don't show up for work, there's a large amount of risk on the table.

Looking at succession strategies and other methods of skill-sharing among teams and departments means you will be less reliant on a handful of employees. This should help prepare the company fill the skills gap left by your most-talented employees when they're not there, whether in the long or short term.

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