Workforce Analytics Academy Part IV: Absenteeism
Author: Lois Melbourne, Co-founder and CEO of Aquire
After talking to a lot of people in and around the human resource industry I have found that there is a great grasping for information about what is important to measure, why should you measure them and what do you do with the information once you have it. So, over the next few articles, we are going to explore the need for and wonder of, critical workforce numbers.
When you mention measuring absenteeism to a business leader, the first thing that comes to mind is who do you fire because they missed too many days. But, what about aligning absenteeism with other trends or workforce metrics to get a better picture of why things might be happening? If productivity in a plant has not been steady, and you can’t align it with equipment issues, you should likely be checking on absenteeism or other factors. That trough in productivity in 2010 happened at the same time that the plant staff was ravaged with a flu epidemic – so don’t beat up the guy that was training on the new equipment, it may not be his fault.
While some industries need to track absenteeism trends to plot their future scheduling and hiring plans, for others it might just be a temperature gauge of policy, morale, or planning. As with most metrics it often means as little as a snapshot or stand alone, but when put together with other elements of data it can really assist in workforce planning.
The key to workforce analytics is putting your HR metrics in context.