Employee absences and leave, whether planned, incidental, or extended, carries costs, risks, and productivity issues for employers. A SHRM study found that the average productivity loss associated with an unplanned absence was as high as 31.1%.
Without accurate processes to track exceptions, employers also leave themselves open to compliance risk. As labor laws become increasingly complex and require documented proof of compliance, accurate time and labor management is more critical than ever before. Failure to comply with government labor regulations and collective bargaining agreements can have serious consequences, including lawsuits, union grievances, and audits by state and federal regulatory agencies.
Exceptions must also be managed in a way that minimizes the impact on productivity and scheduling availability, since both will have a negative impact on service levels and quality of service, which is essential to all businesses.
There are four types of exceptions:
1. Pre-planned Absences
Examples of pre planned absences include vacation days, training days and work time spent on other necessities such as team meetings. Pre-planned leave usually has minimal impact on a business, but when establishing company policies such as PTO and Sick Time, be sure to not only review state and federal law requirements, but have an understanding of the business staffing level needs. How many employees can be out at one time without productivity suffering? Do you need staff on schedule with certain credentials? What is the company’s financial budget to accommodate payment for paid time off?
2. Unplanned Absences
Sick days, leave of absences, ADA accommodations, on-the-job-injuries and downtime due to technical issues would qualify as unplanned exceptions. Remember, happy employees are productive employees. Happy employees call out sick less, go out on leaves less and are just all together more productive. If you want your workforce management to succeed, figure out what makes your workforce tick. Is it benefits, paid time off, schedule flexibility, remote work, new software, extra training, etc.?
3. Unplanned but pre-approved Absences
These are schedule deviations initiated by management to maintain performance levels. Training and individual management coaching is time consuming and temporarily reduces productivity; however, the big picture is more important. Employees that have continual feedback from their managers and are offered professional development opportunities, are being set up for personal success which translates into higher work engagement over time. It sounds silly, but plan for the unplanned but pre-approved time off.
4. Unplanned and not pre-approved Absences
These tend to be reactionary, caused by meetings that run long, coaching sessions, disciplinary actions, suspensions and unexpected voluntary and involuntary terminations. HCM solutions that not only track these absences, but give managers tools to re-staff efficiently and quickly can mitigate the productivity loss and compliance risks associated with unplanned absences.
Regardless of the exception type, the goals remain the same: to maintain consistent service levels for your organization, meet company goals for schedule adherence and especially - employment law compliance.
How Automation Can Help
HR Professionals continue to turn to Human Capital Management systems to automate workforce management in order to reduce the effects and costs associated with exceptions. OnePoint HCM workforce management solutions offer timekeeping, scheduling and leave management features in a single interface.
If there is an absence (planned or unplanned) HCM solutions provide visibility into who is available and if they have the required credentials, in real time to fill absences. More robust features include Leave Management workflows to automatically record employee absences, automatically notify managers when employees exceed established point thresholds, easily confirm each employee’s eligibility for paid/unpaid leave based on user-defined criteria, and one single system to store all time and exception information for compliance.
Some new compliance features include
For more information about OnePoint HCM workforce management solutions and advanced functionality for scheduling, Attestation and Leave of Absence Management contact us for a personalized presentation for your company.
Productivity: Managing and Measuring a Workforce, The Aberdeen Group , Jan. 2015.
Total Financial Impact on Employee Absences in the U.S., Society for Human Resource Management (SH RM), 2014