10 top tips when choosing an absence management solution
A specialist online absence management tools used to be something only larger businesses would use, but today’s growing market has made these solutions affordable for everyone.
Suitable for SMEs, online absence management tools offer ways of maintaining comprehensive data – including everything from basic absence recording through to in-depth reporting and analysis.
The tools you use need to meet the specific demands of your business, so it’s important to choose carefully.
While all organisations are different it’s worth considering the following before you buy, to ensure you find the most hard-working and cost-effective solution available.
- Scale and the number of users
How many people are involved in the business? And what is your predicted growth? If your business is growing quickly or your employee numbers fluctuate, a flexible licensing option could be the best option.
Most cloud software providers offer subscription-based pricing models that can be scaled up or down according to your business needs, offering you all the tools but ensuring you only pay for what you need.
- The kind of data that needs to be collected
Are you looking for a simple sickness record or do you require something more sophisticated? If it’s the latter, choose a solution that will allow you to upload supplementary data and documentation, carry out date stamping, and document meetings and progress.
- Who will be responsible for managing absence?
If your solution needs to be accessible to a wide range of managers, you’ll need to consider a solution that offers privacy settings that can be adjusted.
- What role do employees have in the process?
Increasingly, employees are working with employers to manage their professional records, helping to ease the administrative burden for business owners and managers. If this is part of your policy, make sure you choose a solution that allows this kind of shared working, whilst protecting the data and privacy of all users.
- Identify the key areas of reporting you wish to focus on
In addition to basic reporting, you may want to invest in software that allows you to carry out more detailed analysis, looking at areas including absence patterns, frequency and cost of absence, and employee turnover.
- How much support do you need with follow-up actions?
Many integrated software solutions include prompts and alerts to let you know when further action is needed or when the next stage of policy should be activated. This can be particularly useful for SMEs where it’s not always easy to stay on top of the latest best practices and regulations.
- How and where do your staff work?
Are managers and employees purely office-based, or do they work remotely and need to access your system from a mobile device/out of hours? What kind of IT equipment do they have access to, and how frequently can they access it?
- What level of evidence collation is required?
If you have absence issues that need tackling, you will need to provide a clear data trail, so your system needs to be capable of providing this kind of comprehensive reporting.
- What IT resource do you have to support the system?
Many small businesses have limited in-house IT support, but most cloud-based systems can be implemented and managed without this, as well as having their own service teams to provide on-call help.
- What else can the system do? Does it offer ‘added value’?
It’s worth considering what other business requirements you have, how these will grow and change, and how a solution can help. Whether it’s holiday management, shift planning or maintaining employee records, your software solution can provide easy ways of working across multiple areas of the business.