Why you need to find the budget for absence management

Posted by James Arquette on 21/11/16 11:21

  • Improving patient care
  • Exceeding targets to bolster your profit margins
  • Optimising services provided to residents or members of the public
  • Securing your reputation as the leading expert in your field

Business goals vary hugely from organisation to organisation. Ask any organisation what their top priority is, and you’re unlikely to hear the answer: “Improving our absence management procedures to reduce absence costs”.

However, improving absence management has a positive impact on productivity, motivation and engagement because – ultimately – it means more people in work. In other words, it gives you the tools to achieve all the other goals you prioritise above absence.

A business of 1000 with a 4% absence rate loses over £1.2 million – and 9000 working days – every year

Every organisation is different but they all have one thing in common: absence is a significant cost every year. The challenge is that it doesn’t directly show on your balance sheet. As a result, it’s easy to miss or dismiss, depending on your priorities.

However, when you consider the evidence, it’s clear that absence rates are something you can’t afford to ignore.

If your organisation was leaking millions of pounds in other areas, then you’d take action swiftly and resolutely. The same applies to absence.

If you want to reduce the amount you lose to absence, you need to make an up-front investment

In other words, this is a spend-to-save situation.

Although you do, of course, need to make the right investment for your organisation. Your absence management service provider should be able to demonstrate their credentials, for example by providing details of tangible results they’ve achieved for another organisation in a related sector.

Factors to consider include return on investment (ROI) figures, the number of days they’ve given back to the organisation and the amount they’ve saved them. You should also ask to see relevant case studies.

Consider delaying projects unrelated to organisational efficiency to fund your initial absence management investment

Finding the budget to fund an effective absence management policy is often a challenge, and one that’s approached by every organisation in its own way. However, once your board recognises the cost of absence to your business, the funds tend to be found as a matter of priority.

If you’re struggling, a good place to start is to look at any upcoming projects that aren’t directly related to operational efficiency and don’t have such a clear business case – or those with a lower potential level of ROI to absence solutions. Consider delaying these projects until the noticeable benefits of increased resources take effect.

Remember that it will take around a month to build a true picture of absence rates at your organisation

Typically, 18% of absence goes unreported due to natural slack in traditional processes. So once you’ve made an investment, you should expect absence rates to be higher in the first month or so.

However, with the right absence management policy, it won’t be long – probably around six months – until you’ll begin to see tangible improvements and cost savings, all of which contribute to achieving a swift return on your investment.

These benefits won’t just be evident in your absence rates and processes, but in the overall productivity of your employees and your business, bringing your ultimate business goals firmly within your grasp.

Read our case studies to learn more about how we’ve helped organisations across the private and public sector reduce absence rates and improve process.

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