Talking with a customer the other day, they mentioned that they’d found the calendar overview feature in Cezanne HR to be really helpful. Naturally, I asked, “what’s your favourite part?”

They’d had an issue with a long-standing employee who’d started to take an increasing amount of time off sick. Initially, it had been a day or two every couple of months, but the frequency had started to build. Since the employee was part of a small, but important team in the business, these absences were having an impact not just on the bottom line, but on the motivation of the others working with them.

In a previous world, when they’d been keeping track of absences using paper forms, they’d probably not have noticed. At least, not until others in the team complained. However, they’d set up Cezanne HR to notify them if the number of incidents of absence had reached a certain threshold. Once this happened, the system had flagged it up, giving them the chance to sit down and have a conversation with the employee.

That conversation was made a whole lot easier because the employee could ‘see’ with them the number of days they’d taken off sick over the last few years, and how the frequency has increased. I didn’t ask how the conversation turned out, but it sounded as if the discussion was constructive and took everyone in the right direction.

calendar sickies (2)

It’s never easy to have a conversation about absences levels with an employees, especially if you are not entirely sure of the facts. With Cezanne HR, you are able to build up a record of sickness absences as they happen, and benefit from notifications if key thresholds are passed (e.g. Bradford Factor, number of incidents/number of days). Armed with the information, you are in a much better position to talk to employees, and work together to find a solution that works for them, and for the business.

And, once you’ve decided on the next steps, you can document and record what’s been agreed, so it’s easy for everyone involved to refer back to.

Both ACAS and Xpert HR provide useful advice about how to deal with employees absences.

Sue Lingard author image

Sue Lingard

Sue studied Personnel Management at the London School of Economics before taking on management roles in the travel, recruitment and finally HR software industry. She's particularly interested in how technologies enable HR teams - and the people they support - to work better together.