Making changes to the way an organisation deals with absence can reduce working time lost because of it by as much as 80%, according to new research by XpertHR.
On average, the 114 employers taking part in the absence initiatives survey achieved a 30% reduction in absence rates.
The initiatives considered to be most effective were those that encourage line managers to take an active role in absence management, and those that improve the way return-to-work interviews are conducted. Revising absence management policies, and giving relevant training for line managers were also given top ratings by more than one in five employers.
“The respondents taking part in this research were clear that the role taken by managers in dealing with absent employees is the one most important component in the absence management process,” said Charlotte Wolff, XpertHR editor and author of the report. “Managers need to understand the absence policy and its importance, and feel confident about carrying out return-to-work interviews. Without that, employers could be fighting a losing battle.”
Overall, a quarter of the respondents believed that their organisations’ efforts to tackle absence have been very effective, while a further six in 10 (59%) said they have been fairly effective. None of the employers reported that the measures have been counter-productive, but 13% said they have had no impact either way.
Seven in 10 (68%) said that their reduced employee absence rates were definitely attributable to the changes they had made to the absence management process.
For more information, read the full XpertHR report.