Cost for Absences: Are they ALL Accounted For?

Ms Comenthia Williams
October 11, 2011 — 1,858 views  
Become a Bronze Member for monthly eNewsletter, articles, and white papers.

Cost for Absences: Are They ALL Accounted For?

By Comenthia M. Williams



The cost for absences has risen in today's business market compared to just five years ago.  In fact, it is expected to continue to increase in the years to come.  Some reasons for this shifting is due to the uncertainty of the economy's stability, the increased number of disability claims, and management's refusal to take a stance on what is a "changed society". 


For some companies, the cost relating to an absence is usually time that an employee uses to be paid while out from work.  These expenses, known as direct costs, are examples such as sick time, paid-time off, vacation time, short and/or long term disability, and workers' comp.  However, somewhere within the tracking process, the company's financial reporting of data lacks sufficient evidence of its assets.  The mediocre philosophy of "doing things as usual" has eliminated the company's ability to integrate resourceful units and produce a competitive advantage in its industry.


Possible Solutions to Implement:



  • Consider integration.  The silos within a department become more useful when joined together to establish a collaborative unit.  It also diminishes pitfalls that may not otherwise be made known.  A great advantage to having an integrated unit is the precise information given that illuminates assumption from the perspective of the company.  In doing so, it will capture savings, reduce the risks, and increase customer service satisfaction. 



  • Use Metrics.  Gathered data is the backbone to providing bona fide information regarding the cost associated for an absence.  Nevertheless, it is an all-inclusive approach to utilizing a strategy for the basis of aligning it with the company's goals and vision.  From my experience there are people who are uncertain about the economy's stability, so they will take time off from work for both planned and unplanned absences to ensure their financial guarantee.  Without the use of this tool, the indirect cost, such as temporary replacement, will continue to go unaccounted for.



  • Form a committee.  It is always a benefit to everyone to establish a committee, if there is no integration at your company.  The decentralized departments' silos provide essential information that is needed to manage absences.  In many cases, some systems that are used are determined to have created a hardship, rather than, a seamless process.  The merged ideas of communication from this group of individuals will help leverage a balance of commitment, support, and unity.



  • Present to Senior Management.  You must have senior management on board in order to move forward. Develop a plan of action regarding your decision to account for all costs relating to absences.   Set your goals to be realistic and attainable.  Then, partner with senior management to gain approval.


    The formality to track absences initiates a savings or loss for the company's net worth.  Although it is considered a small factor from the company's spectrum, it carries great volume at its bottom line.  Having a resourceful unit bridges the gap of unaccountability.  Not having it continues the gap.






    Ms Comenthia Williams

    Prodigy Essentials

    Comenthia M. Williams is an innovative and experienced professional with over a 10- year background in delivering and implementing compliance strategies and training programs. Her specializations are: Disability, Benefits, and Coaching.