Absence management is a corporate demand that cut across companies of all sizes. It bothers every sector and demands the credible resources to put up any effective absence management effort.

One of the major challenges in productivity is the lack of workforce – absenteeism. And this could only be handled through workforce absence management, which may mean fitting the pieces of a difficult puzzle sometimes if managers want to be sincere. Seeing the whole picture of absence management in a scattered form is quite confronting, but not when you have the right scheme in place. Part of the puzzles to solve in absence management includes coordinating replacement workers, managing communication with absent employees, and managing a swift return to work program.

However, your employee absence management strategies should not be perceived as measures to prevent the reasons for workers absence nor violate any of the state or federal leave acts. Workforce absence management is only a means to minimize low productivity, boost morale, and to mitigate mistakes at work. There are some factors that also contribute to the success of workforce absence management. They could mean a deep understanding of absent worker productivity implications, and the financial terms.

The following are the major factors that could prevent employee absence management efforts.

  • Poor understanding of state and federal leave laws
  • Lack of staff resources
  • Ensuring that employees are able to perform their duties when they return to work

Steps to a successful absence management program

Employers can establish a successful absence management program by following these recommendations.

  1. Establish a return-to-work program using:
    1. An interactive procedure that allows all parties to talk about the possibilities of returning to work
    2. A written policy for return-to-work
    3. Nurse case management
    4. Procedure for disability duration based on diagnosis
    5. Facilities necessary for employees’ return to work

  1. Be able to obtain reports such as:
    1. Cost of disability
    2. Usage patterns of disability
    3. Claimant status of disability
    4. Claimant status of Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)
    5. Usage patterns of FMLA
    6. FMLA information and integrated disability

  1. Employees should be referred to health management programs like:
    1. Program for disease management
    2. Assistance program for employees
    3. A wellness program

  1. Establish a portal for reporting information such as:
    1. FMLA absences and short-term disability
    2. Leaves of absence of other forms such as paid time off or sick leave

In addition to the above-mentioned steps, the following absent management strategies will discourage unnecessary employee absence

Attendance incentives: These incentives could be given in the form of extra day’s holiday or cash rewards for employees with 100% attendance. You could also allow such employees to leave work early on the last Friday of the month. Employers will be required to ensure that this offer does not bring in discrimination of any sort for the disabled or sick.

Establish flexible working policies: Employee absence management could also involve allowing staff to shift their working hours or work from home. This could help them not to develop stress-related sicknesses and to achieve work-life balance.

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