Why every company needs an employee absence management system

Dec 22, 2021

It’s super rare for employees to never miss a day of work, whatever the reason. Taking time off work isn’t just about dealing with situations like illness or fatigue. It also protects mental and physical wellbeing and improves healthy productivity and engagement.

But when you have multiple teams with people taking time off according to their schedules, how do you track absences? Sure, you could send an Excel sheet around, ask everyone to send a message on Slack, or swear by emails to HR. But if someone forgets, it’ll lead to planning and payroll problems.

To know that your team is taking the time off they deserve and aren’t showing signs of presenteeism or absenteeism, you need an employee absence management system.

What is absence management?

Absence management is a system designed to reduce employee absenteeism and streamline the way teams manage their time off.

Absence management can also be called attendance management, which puts a positive spin on a generally misunderstood system. Absence management isn’t about restricting employees from taking time off. It prevents sudden or chronic absenteeism and makes it easy for employees to take time off without undue pressure on their teammates.

Having such a system is super helpful for both organisations and employees. For the former, it means historical records of absences, transparent leave processes and reduced manual labour. For employees, it means simpler time-off application processes, clearer guidelines, and a tighter focus on physical and mental wellbeing.

Why do you need an absence management system?

Repetitive manual record-keeping sucks. We’ve all been there! The hassle of monitoring everyone’s time off, making sure there are no clashes, and forgetting to inform the right people... it’s a mess we wouldn’t wish on anyone.

Automated record-keeping

Absence management software systems keep track of all employee data relating to presence and absence. It increases an organisation’s knowledge about their team’s productivity and helps spot red flags and worrying patterns before it’s too late.

Reduced dips in productivity

When someone takes time off suddenly or without permission, it can wreck teamwork and cause delays in projects. Teammates might need to work overtime or cover for the missing teammate, which also taxes their wellbeing and leads to burnout.

Using an absence management software system ensures that team members are well-informed if their teammate is on a break. They’re able to plan around this break in capacity and ensure they don’t spread themselves too thin. Absence management software has the potential to reduce overall fatigue and set reasonable expectations for teams.

Clearer and more inclusive guidelines

Not everyone has the same reasons for taking time off, and an absence management system can reflect that. This is because the system isn’t limited to just the software, but also the rules and guidelines around taking time off work. They need to be clear, inclusive, descriptive, and informative. They also need to detail the process of applying for time off, handing over tasks, and returning to work.

After all, these rules are what encourage employees to take breaks when they need them, no matter the reason. Guidelines might differ based on the organisation — that said, they need to be communicated to employees right from their first day at work.

One software for all

When you have multiple hacky approaches to managing time off, you’ll find confusion where there should be clarity. Using a common absence management software helps you make sure that all data stays in one place and is immediately accessible. We’d recommend using one that has an employee self-service portal — this reduces the pressure on HR and people managers and lets employees take responsibility for their own time and decisions.

To make sure this works out for everyone, it’s best to show employees how the tool works while explaining absence policies. When the time comes to take time off, they should have all the resources at their fingertips.

Absence management makes the team stronger

You want employees to show up and put in the work — but not at the expense of their mental health, right? Having an absence management system in place will help you achieve that fine balance between productivity and wellbeing.

Pause is a no-frills absence management software that lets you see who’s off, when, and for how long, without the hassle of spreadsheets and email chains. Start your free trial today or book a demo call with the team!

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