Like many other types of technologies we know today, HR technology has evolved dramatically over the last century. It now takes the form of advanced web-based applications that support automation, user mobility and self-service. This makes a huge contrast with early paper-based systems characterized by a time-consuming data collection process and rudimentary reporting features.
Thanks to these technological advancements, contemporary HR professionals do not have to spend ages gathering, checking and analyzing employee information. And large organizations can freely get rid of cumbersome and messy paper archives that only increase the risk of data errors and fall as a massive heap of stress on the shoulders of their HR teams.
Indeed, modern technologies have transformed the way HRs approach any of their tasks, from recruitment and applicant tracking to staff training and benefits administration. Web-based systems have enabled HR teams to quickly respond to problems and get highly accurate employee data, which makes their work more efficient and effortless.
So, Why Do HRs Need a Hi-Tech Approach to Absence Management?
Companies have many reasons for adopting advanced absence management technologies. According to the SHRM and Human Resources Management in Canada, the main benefits of using the latest HR tech include:
- A streamlined work process | With web-based systems, HRs have to worry neither about manual data collection and processing nor about answering employees’ personnel questions on a regular basis. As a result, they can focus on essential tasks more.
- Reduced administrative burden and costs | Besides increasing efficiency, automated systems let users minimize paperwork and enhance compliance with various regulations, such as overtime management and record keeping. All these effects help businesses to save some money and time.
- Easier access to data | Employee self-service systems allow staff members to review and manage their personal information independently, without the need to address their HR managers at all. This feature lowers operational costs in HR departments and promotes employee involvement in the management process. Hence, it increases transparency and builds trust.
- Facilitated decision making at the top management level | Web-based HR technologies provide decision-makers with real-time metrics to analyze workforce trends and optimize resource planning and allocation in their organizations.
- Increased focus on clients | With a boost in process efficiency and data accuracy, HR teams become able to render higher-quality service. Technologies enhance HRs’ responsiveness to staff needs and enable them to supply more meaningful and error-free information to clients: employees, managers and other stakeholders.
- Increased HR involvement in strategic activities | By fostering an in-depth insight into workforce trends and problems, emerging technologies give HRs the means to manage the human capital in line with the overall business goals. They help HR departments to undertake a more proactive role in companies’ strategic activities.
Applying a quality piece of absence management software is an excellent start in capturing all these general benefits of HR technology. And below, we’ll have a closer look at some specific advantages that HRs may take hold of when using smart absence trackers.
What Makes a Good Absence Management App?
Absence management software is a type of time and attendance management technology. It serves to gather, process and store all the key information a business needs in order to calculate and monitor vacation time in its team:
- Employee hire dates,
- A comprehensive record of taken leaves of absence (both paid and unpaid),
- Contract termination dates and other types of relevant data.
The best absence management tools are flexible in configuration — they can be programmed to track and accrue employees’ time off in accordance with your company’s policy details, be that the use-it-or-lose-it or unlimited vacation policy. In other words, you just need to set preferable accrual rules and PTO limits in the application of choice. After that, the web-based absence manager will do all the complex calculations, while your only job will be to review and analyze the data presented in neat and well-structured summaries.
Let’s take actiPLANS as an example.
This software tool has everything one requires to streamline absence management in their team:
- Customized PTO and sick leave accrual rules,
- Manual time off balance adjustment,
- Employee self-service in terms of vacation management,
- Automated leave request approval,
- Email notifications on changes in leave request statuses,
- Easy overview of team availability and absences on the Corporate Schedule,
- Multiple data reports for both the private use and managerial decision making,
- Data export to external tools,
- Mobile version for leave request submission and absence tracking on the go.
Using actiPLANS, HR managers can see how many days a team member was absent and which types of leave they took: short-term personal time off, sick leave, vacation, etc. It’s also possible to create multiple additional custom leave categories in the system: anything from sabbatical leave and maternity leave to inclement weather and voting leave. This will help you differentiate the various reasons why your employees take time off and track organization-wide employee absence trends in much greater detail.
Considering all the above features of web-based absence trackers, they produce the following benefits for HR managers:
- Streamlined absence and benefits management,
- More cost-effective administration process,
- Improved employee access to leave time information,
- Employees empowered to manage their own days off,
- Enhanced data visibility for an easier analysis of workforce capacity.
Of course, not every company can make use of the best absence management technology. Moreover, not everyone needs it. However, as Julie Bulmash validly noted in Human Resources Management in Canada, all businesses have HR-related information needs, and the larger the company is, the more challenges it faces when addressing them.
For a small firm, it may be enough just to log employee absences in a simple digital spreadsheet or apply a basic management system. However, HR departments in large organizations cannot do without more sophisticated technologies.
A web-based absence management app like actiPLANS is essential for them to adopt in order to collect, process and analyze significant data volumes in an effortless and accurate fashion. In the end, a hi-tech approach to absence management allows for optimized employee management and much better work results in HR departments.