London Borough of Lewisham has reduced employee absence by more than four
days a year as a result of its attendance management programme.
Absence rates have fallen from 13 days a year in 1993 to 8.6 days in 2000
and the council has set a new target of 6 days by 2004.
The HR team have improved the accuracy of their attendance records and used
return-to-work interviews to communicate to staff the policy on absence.
The council has also introduced a flexible working scheme, which includes
term-time working, job shares and career breaks. Six hundred of the council’s
4,800 employees are involved in the scheme.
Andreas Ghosh, head of personnel and development at London Borough of
Lewisham, said, "Managing attendance should not be done in isolation from
other HR policies.
"We are improving motivation on the one hand and supporting effective
performance management on the other."
In May, the council launched a personal development programme called
Lifeworks, to improve motivation.
The six-month project involves external consultants running sessions with
employees aimed at establishing their personal objectives and identifying how
their work fits in.
This autumn the council will relaunch its appraisal system as a performance
evaluation scheme with a greater emphasis on linking corporate objectives to
It will also use competence-based feedback to identify training needs and provide
a clearer measure of employee performance.