From XU Magazine, 
Issue 20

7 stresses of employee absence and how to overcome them

Absence is an unavoidable part of any business. Whatever the leave or sickness policies, absence will occur, both planned and unplanned. Simple systems can provide everything you need to alleviate the usual questions leave from the office and allowance tracking bring to an organisation.

“I didn’t know he was off sick today”

How many times have you heard employees or managers unaware that someone was on leave or had called in sick today? It is a common situation in which the message has not been effectively communicated by the line manager. Without transparency around absence in your business you could waste time and effort, upset your clients or fail to complete essential business processes.

With the advances in business software, all companies should be using a solution that allows them to not only manage the full leave and sickness process but also to share meaningful information about employees’ whereabouts. A good solution should support functions such as team calendars, integrations with Google Calendar and Outlook Calendar, report emails, notifications and more.

“How much holiday do I have left?”

Every employee wants to know how much allowance they have left at several points throughout the year. This can be a nightmare to answer when the question needs to go to the manager, then the HR team to be worked out across spreadsheets and forms. By the time the employee gets the answer they need lots of time and effort has been wasted.

Just this simple query can be made so much easier with a transparent system with a single source of truth. Allow the employee to view balances at anytime right before they submit a request. With the same view as the Team Manager and HR Manager, there will never be any confusion again.

“Will that come out of my allowance?”

In every company there are varying types of absence that could occur. These could include sickness (paid or unpaid), annual leave or PTO or other absences like work events, training, Jury Service or Maternity Leave. Even in this small list, there are examples of types that should come out of an allowance (annual or accrued) and some that should definitely not.

Using a solution that allows you to define a series of deducted and non-deducted leave types will enable you to not only accurately subtract from allowance where required, it will also provide a list of absence options to the employee so everyone is on the same page.

“Have you approved my request?”

There is no employee who hasn't needed to ask this question at some point. With managers pushed for time, old fashioned leave request and approval processes can be left to one side with the requester being unsure if they can take the leave or not.

A good solution will allow you to set simple request and approval workflows to allow your employees to make a request from their device and for a manager to be alerted that they have an approval to make. In just a couple of clicks requests can be reviewed, checked against clashes and approved. A simple solution that puts an end to questions about approvals!

“Who still has leave to book?”

HR and team managers will always want to know how employees are progressing with their allowance throughout the year. Will anyone be taking it all at the end of the year? Do we have an issue with employees not taking the leave they need to recharge? All questions that need to be answered.

With access to an absence management tool, managers will have clear visibility of allowances throughout the year, how much leave has been taken and what the balance is. This visibility allows action to be taken in the moment rather than after painstaking calculations continuing well after the leave year has ended.

“Where are the sales team?”

At some point all companies have granted too much absence in one area of the business by mistake. If the manager does not have a simple system to see who is off when presented with requests, it is hard to avoid this scenario.  With a team facing multiple absence at once, this could have an effect of the day to day running of the business.

Using software that allows for this visibility when making approvals will help managers to make the right decisions and keep process running smoothly during absence. Employees should also have visibility of who is off already so they can follow company set rules around absences within a team or company.

“How has leave affected payroll this month?”

With leave happening across the business on a monthly basis, it can be hard to work out if and how this affects pay when it comes to payroll. Accuracy is crucial here and the payroll admin or team does not want to have to manually work out such detail around payslips.

Integration between payroll and other systems affecting pay such as leave and absence is essential to keep the process running smoothly. If you choose to use a separate leave management tool to keep your absence process in check then ensure it integrates with Xero to improve accuracy and maintain efficiency.

Don't waste time on the questions around where employees are, what leave they have taken or how much sickness they have used. Get all the answers you need in an instant with a simple leave and sickness management solution.

Exclusive to XU Magazine readers: quote ‘XU3-XERO19′ for 20% off your first year (code expires 31/12/19)

Why leave it there?

Appogee HR can help with your absence management and integrate back into Xero

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