Every business must face the obstacles thrown up when employees are absent. Whether it’s just for a day or more, when team members are out of action unexpectedly, the whole organization can suffer. As such, it pays to make an effort to manage attendance in a way that works for the company and individual employees. The right approach, paired with the right tools, will mean improved productivity and higher levels of job satisfaction as well. With that in mind, here’s a practical guide to orchestrating and staying on top of employee attendance, whether you’re an HR professional or any kind of leader. Modern software makes light work of absence management The first hurdle to overcome is a purely administrative one. Suppose you’re still relying on paper forms to track attendance, or you have digitized this in a potentially unwieldy and unspecialized spreadsheet. In that case, you are missing out on the specific benefits of a staff absence management software solution. The latest platforms provide a comprehensive feature set that allows you to oversee everything from allotted time off, to last-minute absences, to training days and so much more. And, of course, because this is all contained within a single interface, you don’t need to go sifting through paperwork or scrolling through spreadsheets to get a snapshot of the current state of play. Likewise, with modern software on your side, you’ll see which team members are taking more time off than others and why. When it comes to assessing employee performance to calculating pay and bonuses, having the data to hand courtesy of absence management software will save you time and money. Providing clear policies is crucial. In addition to using absence management software, it’s also your responsibility to provide employees with the information they need to understand their expected attendance. There’s no room for ambiguity here, and staff will appreciate being given all of the information they need as soon as possible, so it has to be part of the recruitment and on boarding process. If you keep new hires in the dark on this point, for example, it could strike the wrong note from the point of view of company culture, which is something you must avoid. Rigorously documenting attendance policies and also explaining to employees why you have chosen a particular route, rather than just giving them a basic overview, will help to foster understanding as well as trust. Running a business is a team effort, so having everyone on the side will make a big difference to morale. Streamlining communication help Speaking of staff morale, you need to recognize that clarity on attendance policies is only part of the picture. Employees also have to be provided with a consistent and accessible way to manage the amount of time off available to them. Communication is at the core of this. There has to be an uncomplicated connection between team members and managers so that requests for personal days and vacations can be sent, reviewed, and approved without any road bumps. Sure, you could just tell employees that if they need to take time off, all they have to do is speak with their manager directly. But this can be an obstacle in itself and means that you might not have requests documented and organized in full. Once again, the proper management software will be your savior in this context. As well as making life easier for managers, it means that employees don’t have to face the intimidating prospect of requesting vacation time face to face or via email. Instead, everything can be overseen and processed in the same place, unifying communications in a way that benefits everyone involved. Integration is important One thing you want to avoid when choosing attendance management solutions is a scenario in which you’ve got good tools for allocating time off. Still, you don’t have a way to translate this data to the other services you rely on. This is where cross-platform integration becomes a priority. You need a package that provides compatibility with other tools, such as your calendar and email, to realize its true potential. Without adequate integrability, there might not be much difference between this and sticking with old-school methods of managing employee attendance. Flexibility is necessary We have already discussed the need for clarity in absence policies, but it’s necessary to note that this should not come at the expense of being flexible. Let’s say, for example, that you have a policy that states that if employees exceed their entitled number of sick days in a given year, they will face disciplinary action. This might sound reasonable in theory, but it will likely encourage people to return to the workplace before correctly recovering. This could lead to illness spreading, in the case of an infection, or their work productivity and job satisfaction suffering, resulting in a higher employee turnover and additional expenses from a recruitment perspective. You have to strike a balance and avoid being overly prescriptive instead of aiming to accommodate the varied needs of employees as much as possible without fuelling a harmful culture of presenteeism. The bottom line A productive workforce is healthy and happy. This means offering opportunities to take time off for leisure, dealing with health issues, and general improvements to the work-life balance, which keep modern team members content in their roles. Managing employee attendance is pivotal and should not be pushed down your list of priorities because it doesn’t sound glamorous. Relying on modern software, rather than doing everything manually, will make tackling absenteeism and presenteeism less of a struggle. And the insights you glean from the data generated by management platforms can then inform the decisions you make about attendance policies. Further Reading \t A $2.2 Trillion Worth of Options Expiring for Dealers Loaded with Stock Positions \t What You Need To Know About Contractor Bonds And Their Importance? \t What Does ‘Double’ In Cricket Mean?