Company: Unionised Distribution Company
Issue: High absence levels which resulted in:
- Inefficient production levels
- High overtime and agency worker costs
- An unacceptable level of customer complaints
- Reduced team morale
Considerations & Limitations
Clearly, with absence management and now also ‘presenteeism’, there is a vast amount of information to consider including the quality of any internal policies and procedures. This includes whether they are contractual or not, how managers deal with employees, short and long-term absence, disability, workplace accidents such as ‘slips, trips and falls’, work-related stress, along with other reasons for absence and employee rights under the Access to Medical Reports Act 1988. This case study serves to provide an overview of how a company was helped by one of our consultants.
The target was to reduce absence levels from an average of 11.5% to 6.5% working days lost per employee, therefore aiming for a 5% decrease.
Information was gathered to determine where the highest levels of absence were, reasons for absence, average number of days absent and any patterns. The company had 500 plus employees and data had to be gathered from various departments and reports.
Additionally, a review of the internal absence management policy and procedure was undertaken, which included how absence was managed by individual managers within their departments.
On conclusion of this review, a set of data was presented to the senior management team. The report identified the area with the most inefficient absence management and also concluded that the internal policy and procedure needed to be addressed and supported by management training.
The whole process took several months and we came across challenges from employees who declared that the company could not make the changes which had been communicated to them; some stating the changes to be a breach of contract and some stating the Trade Union wouldn’t allow it. However, once completed and reanalysed, the evidence concluded that the desired outcome had been achieved and this was reflected in greater production efficiencies, reduced customer complaints and the increase of money available in departmental budgets.