Workplace absenteeism takes a toll on a company’s productivity and finances. According to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), absenteeism hovered around an average of 2% between October 2019 and September 2020. That means that on any day, an average of 2% of the workforce do not report for work.
This has also translated to losses in billions of dollars. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimated in 2015 that absenteeism costs companies as much as $225.8 billion annually, or $1,685 per employee.
Companies that do not have a strong employee reporting system are often the ones made vulnerable by employee absenteeism. If reporting procedures are not in place or are not clear, employees may just not show up for work, or may not call in sick to the proper people in the company.
One way to make it easier for employees to report their leaves while also helping employers monitor these is to employ an employee call-off hotline service. This is a single point of communication for all of a company’s employees in the form of a single absence line to streamline employee call-offs. When an employee calls in sick, is late, or plans to leave early from work, they get connected to an operator who takes down the details of their condition and how long they will be out of office.A timestamped call-off report is then generated and sent to the employee’s manager by text, email, or voicemail.
Call-off systems have been shown to improve productivity and even reduce instances of absenteeism. Here are some of the top ways it achieves this:
1. Simplifies reporting and deters abuse
With just one number to remember, accessible 24/7, there is virtually no excuse for any employee to miss reporting an absence. Even if you have employees scattered across the country, they can use the service at any hour of the day or night. Since the process is uniform and very simple, there is no room for abuse or excuses, and documentation will be very clear and straightforward.
2. Next steps are provided
A call-off service will be able to give your sick employee clear instructions on their next steps. If it is company policy to require a medical certificate before returning to work, the employee will be informed. If the employee plans to make use of the benefits of the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) which “provides certain employees with up to 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave per year”, the call-off service will be able to advise the employee on what to do, including talking to their company’s HR department and providing FMLA’s contact details.
3. Faster work adjustments
With a call-off service, the immediate manager or supervisor of the employee is informed of the absence. This allows the manager to maintain productivity by reassigning tasks for the day, requesting for additional help, and even checking in on the employee to see if they need more help.
4. Eliminates potential questions about absences
Each employee who calls the service is usually given a confirmation number as proof of the call and for record purposes. If, for any reason, there are questions about the absenteeism or the number of days taken off, the employee can produce the code as proof that he reported. Managers can also ask for the confirmation code from the employee as proof that they properly reported his absence.
Absences cannot be avoided, but productivity losses can be minimized or totally eliminated with a streamlined, efficient, always-available call-off service. This is an investment that every company should seriously consider.