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The Empuls Glossary

Glossary of Human Resources Management and Employee Benefit Terms

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Absence management refers to the processes and strategies employed by organizations to manage and mitigate employee absences effectively. It encompasses various activities, including tracking absences, implementing policies, and offering support mechanisms to address absenteeism's impact on employees and the organization.

What is absence management?

Absence management refers to monitoring, controlling, and reducing employee absences. This includes tracking various types of leave, such as sick leave, vacation time, and other authorized time off, and managing the impact of unplanned or excessive absences on productivity and operations.

What is the meaning of absence management?

Absence management refers to the systematic approach taken by organizations to monitor, control, and reduce employee absences from work. It involves implementing policies, procedures, and practices to minimize absences' impact on productivity and ensure compliance with legal and regulatory requirements.

What is an absence management procedure?

An absence management procedure is a set of guidelines and steps an organization follows to manage employee absences effectively. This typically includes:

  • Clear policies outlining the types of leave available to employees and the procedures for requesting and approving leave.
  • Procedures for tracking and monitoring absences, including documenting reasons for absence and identifying any patterns or issues.
  • Guidelines for managing unplanned or excessive absences include implementing disciplinary measures or offering support and accommodations.
  • Communication protocols for informing managers and HR about leave requests and coordinating coverage for absent employees.
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What is the importance of absence management in organizations?

The importance of absence management are as follows:

  • Maintaining operational continuity: Effective absence management ensures organizational functions continue smoothly even when employees are absent, minimizing disruptions to workflows and projects.
  •  Optimizing productivity: By addressing absences promptly and strategically, organizations can maintain optimal productivity levels and meet deadlines without overburdening remaining staff.
  • Enhancing employee engagement: Proactive absence management demonstrates organizational support for employee well-being, leading to higher levels of engagement, job satisfaction, and retention.

What are the objectives of absence management?

The objectives of absence management are:

  • Minimize disruptions: The primary goal is to minimize the impact of employee absences on organizational operations and productivity.
  • Ensure compliance: Absence management ensures compliance with relevant labor laws, company policies, and contractual agreements.
  • Promote employee well-being: Absence management seeks to promote employee health, work-life balance, and overall well-being by providing support and accommodations.

What are the different types of absences?

The different types of absences are:

1. Scheduled absences

  • Vacation Leaves: Planned time off for rest, relaxation, and personal activities.
  • Planned time off: Prearranged absences for appointments, family events, or other personal reasons.
  • Holidays: Designated days off in observance of public or religious holidays.

2. Unscheduled absences

  • Sick leaves: Absences due to illness or injury, requiring time off for recovery.
  • Family Emergencies: Unforeseen situations requiring employees to attend to family members' urgent needs.
  • Personal days: Discretionary days off for personal reasons not covered by other leave categories.
  • Unplanned absenteeism: Absences without prior notice or valid reason, potentially indicating underlying issues.

What are the strategies for effective absence management?

The strategies for effective absence management are:

  • Establishing clear absence policies: Clearly defined policies communicate expectations regarding attendance, leave entitlements, and procedures for requesting time off.
  • Implementing absence tracking systems: Utilizing technology to track and monitor employee absences accurately facilitates timely intervention and data-driven decision-making.
  • Promoting a healthy work-life balance: Encouraging employees to prioritize self-care and personal well-being fosters a culture of health and balance.
  • Encouraging open communication: Creating channels for transparent communication enables employees to discuss absences openly and seek support when needed.
  • Providing flexible work arrangements: Offering flexible scheduling options, remote work opportunities, or alternative work arrangements can accommodate diverse employee needs.
  • Offering employee assistance programs (EAPs): Providing access to counseling, wellness resources, and support services can help employees manage personal challenges and reduce absenteeism.
  • Cross-training and succession planning: Cross-training employees and developing succession plans ensure absences do not disrupt critical business functions and facilitate smooth transitions during staff changes.

What are the challenges in absence management?

The challenges in absence management are:

  • Financial impact on the organization: Absenteeism can increase costs due to overtime payments, temporary staffing, or lost productivity.
  • Operational disruptions: Unexpected absences can disrupt workflows, leading to delays, missed deadlines, and decreased efficiency.
  • Employee morale and productivity: Frequent absences can lower morale among remaining staff and reduce overall productivity.
  •  Legal compliance and employment laws: Failure to manage absences by relevant laws and regulations can expose organizations to legal risks and liabilities.

Employee pulse surveys:

These are short surveys that can be sent frequently to check what your employees think about an issue quickly. The survey comprises fewer questions (not more than 10) to get the information quickly. These can be administered at regular intervals (monthly/weekly/quarterly).

One-on-one meetings:

Having periodic, hour-long meetings for an informal chat with every team member is an excellent way to get a true sense of what’s happening with them. Since it is a safe and private conversation, it helps you get better details about an issue.


eNPS (employee Net Promoter score) is one of the simplest yet effective ways to assess your employee's opinion of your company. It includes one intriguing question that gauges loyalty. An example of eNPS questions include: How likely are you to recommend our company to others? Employees respond to the eNPS survey on a scale of 1-10, where 10 denotes they are ‘highly likely’ to recommend the company and 1 signifies they are ‘highly unlikely’ to recommend it.

Based on the responses, employees can be placed in three different categories:

  • Promoters
    Employees who have responded positively or agreed.
  • Detractors
    Employees who have reacted negatively or disagreed.
  • Passives
    Employees who have stayed neutral with their responses.

What is the role of HR in absence management?

HR plays a central role in absence management by:

  • Developing and implementing absence management policies and procedures.
  • Providing guidance and support to managers and employees regarding leave entitlements, procedures, and expectations.
  • Monitoring and analyzing absence data to identify trends and areas for improvement.
  • Offering support and accommodations to employees who may need assistance managing their absences due to health issues or other reasons.
  • Ensuring compliance with legal and regulatory requirements related to employee leave.
  • Facilitating communication and collaboration between managers, employees, and other stakeholders regarding absence management issues.

How do you manage absence in the workplace?

Managing absence in the workplace involves several steps:

  • Implementing clear policies and procedures regarding attendance and leave.
  • Providing employees with information about their entitlements and responsibilities regarding leave.
  • Monitoring and tracking absences to identify patterns or issues.
  • Addressing underlying causes of frequent absences, such as health issues or workplace dissatisfaction.
  • Offering support and accommodations where appropriate, such as flexible work arrangements or access to wellness programs.
  • Maintaining open communication between managers and employees regarding leave requests and expectations.

How do you inform the manager about a leave of absence?

Employees should typically inform their manager about a leave of absence as soon as possible, preferably before the leave is set to begin. This can be done through various means, such as:

  • Sending an email or written request outlining the details of the leave, including the dates and reason.
  • Requesting a meeting with the manager to discuss the leave in person.
  • Following any procedures the company outlines for requesting leave, such as filling out a formal leave request form.

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