4 Signs of a Bad Absence Management Program

5 min readMar 18, 2021
Photo by Laura Davidson

The goal of absence management is to prevent absenteeism and ensure enough employees are present at the workplace when needed. If you fail to manage absences well, your company is likely to suffer due to a productivity drop, and your team may end up either showing poor quality results or delaying projects.

But how can a business make certain its absence management remains adequate and efficient? For this to happen, you firstly need to adopt a well-functioning absence management program. And then, you have to keep it always up-to-date.

To help you out with this uneasy task, here we’re going to discuss some of the major signs of ineffective and obsolete absence management systems. By the end of the reading, you’ll gain a proper understanding of what makes an absence management program excellent or bad and be able to update the one you have in your company accordingly.

Absence Management Program: What Is It?

An ABSENCE MANAGEMENT PROGRAM is a piece of software that allows businesses to:

By fulfilling these functions, such a program enables employers to stay in the know of their current workforce capacity, predict future staff availability and plan workloads in line with the volume of human resources at hand. Besides, absence management software makes vacation planning and tracking as easy as pie. Therefore, it reduces administrative costs and helps detect any unauthorized and unplanned absences without a hitch. This way, absence management programs play a vital role in business management at multiple levels: strategic, operational and financial.

How to Tell if You Need a Software Update

A good absence management program makes the process of leave tracking and scheduling highly efficient, streamlined and accurate. It doesn’t waste employees’ and managers’ time and is fairly straightforward to operate.

Based on this, the main signs that you need to upgrade your absence management software are as follows:

1. You still rely heavily on manual data input and calculations

Manual data collection and processing have several significant flaws. Firstly, they are time-consuming, and the bigger your team is, the more time it naturally takes to manage time off data by hand. Secondly, manual information processing is subject to a higher risk of error than an automatic one. So, it also takes a lot of effort and resources to make sure your manual calculations (such as PTO balance accrual) are accurate and credible.

PTO calculation settings in actiPLANS where you can specify custom accrual rules

2. Employees are insufficiently involved in the absence management process

If an employee has to refer to the HR department every time they need some info on their PTO balance or verify a new vacation plan, your absence management program doesn’t do very well.

When workers can’t access necessary time off information on their own and don’t have a chance to schedule a leave period independently, they waste time, become dissatisfied with how things are managed in the company and eventually turn more skeptical.

Leave management in actiPLANS — create an unlimited number of leave types, get your team to request and plan their time off and review employee availability

3. It takes you too long to manage employees’ leave requests

Another thing that contributes to workers’ dissatisfaction and causes additional stress for them is when you respond to leave requests too slowly.

Such a situation can take place due to multiple reasons. For instance, a leave request might somehow get lost amidst the chaos of endless incoming emails or buried under a pile of paperwork. Plus, if you have to coordinate all team members’ time off and calculate their PTO balances manually, it most frequently takes you lots of time to check whether each vacation request can be approved or if an employee has to change the planned leave dates and duration.

But whatever your reasons for a slow response are, making your staff members wait for leave request approval for an extended period is highly detrimental. Response delays may be perceived as a sign you don’t value your workers. Moreover, when you keep employees dwelling in uncertainty, they may become discontented and frustrated rather quickly.

Leave management in actiPLANS — approve, modify or reject leave requests and leave comments

4. You struggle to address absenteeism

Suppose you diligently record every employee leave in your program but still fail to get a holistic picture of staff availability and absences. In that case, you won’t ever be able to identify and diagnose absenteeism problems effectively.

It’s hard to analyze large sets of data if your absence management program doesn’t summarize and present them to you in a readable chart or report. Digital spreadsheets and calendars may be sufficient to track ongoing absences and monitor compliance with vacation plans, but they are not powerful enough to carry out in-depth research and inform your decision-making.

The Best Solution

So, what to do if your absence management program is subject to the four above deficiencies? Your best choice is to replace it with a piece of software that supports:

  • Automation
  • Employee self-service
  • Fast and easy leave request management
  • Detailed reporting

Check out our brief guide on how to select a perfect leave management program here, and click on this link to explore some of the best options available in the market today. In addition, be sure to sign up for a free actiPLANS trial since this smart software tool has everything you need to bring absence management in your team to another level:

  • Would you like to provide employees with full access to their PTO balance information and enable them to schedule vacations independently?
  • Do you wish to get immediately notified about every new incoming leave request and streamline leave request management?
  • Want to review historical time off data on visually appealing charts and generate comprehensive reports in just several clicks?
  • Can’t wait to minimize manual data entry and increase absence management efficiency?

actiPLANS has it all to assist you with that! Visit this page to learn more about many of its valuable absence management features.




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