COVID-19, the alien virus has brought along with it untold miseries and upheavals in everyone’s life. Managing the workforce and employee attendance during the pandemic has the HR and the top leaders come up with new ways to keep the employees on their toes and track their activities related to work. COVID-19 management seems to have become a part of our daily lives for the foreseeable future. All work-related activities now revolve around the pandemic. To deal with its challenges, it is essential to stay well-informed and foster open communication with employees.
Employers are planning and encouraging for the eventual return of their employees in the coming weeks although, slowly, to help ease the anxiety and bring back the lost confidence of their valued workforce. The reopening will be a more complicated issue than ever for both the employer and employee. In the light of global health pandemic, managing employee absenteeism has taken a toll on the attendance management system. Following guidelines shall throw light on some important policies and help learn how to manage and reduce employee absenteeism amidst the fight with COVID-19.
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1. Make clear workplace policies
It is essential to view the already existing workplace policies, improve and add flexibility, apprise the leaders, and train them to manage these policies as per the requirement. Applying effective implementation of appropriate policies will greatly reduce the employer’s job to manage employee attendance marking. The management needs to keep track of their employee’s roles and work-related responsibilities to be able to manage their absence. At the same time, being empathetic but firm in these troubled times is also necessary. Using new and innovative apps such as the online register app and WiFi attendance app is a boon to every organization. Attendance register provides a simple and efficient method to keep track of every employee’s attendance. It is user-friendly too.
2. Comprehensive employee attendance program
Encouraging the workforce to return to their desk is a challenging task in the current scenario. Introducing workplace programs will help reduce absence. Establishing a robust communication system, ensuring employees are aware of the new projects being handled by their colleagues and having all the relevant data that can be worked on upon the absence of their teammates shall help to bring back the zest and enthusiasm and of course much-needed confidence in the employees in general. Companies can also implement comprehensive programs that will encourage employee loyalty such as full attendance incentives, work-related performances, etc. Consistency in carrying out employee attendance policies is just as important as writing good policies, to begin with.
3. Attendance tracking system
Ensuring that you have an attendance tracker to maintain your employee attendance even when working remotely and track their working hours and with the right tools and technology will help and enhance employee and company productivity in the bargain. With biometric systems removed from work places, it becomes imperative to look for a solution that is more reliable and secure for the safety of all concerned. Keeping in mind the future of work and overall business performance of the companies, maintaining office hygiene, tracking attendance using a mobile-enabled attendance management software could resolve time theft and attendance issues in the organizations in the near future.
Online Wi-Fi attendance marking is a cloud-based attendance tracking system that uses office Wi-Fi to mark an employee’s attendance. Using this time tracking system will help identify employees that are taking more time off than spending those precious hours on work. This data shall be of great help in informing the employees’ how they need to improve and follow workplace policies. With clear and precise attendance on hand, accurate payroll processing will also be possible.
4. ‘Work From Home’ approach
With the onset of the enforced lockdown, companies began implementing flexible work arrangements for work-from-home policies. Remote working, though not normal previously, has become the new norm for one and all. Bearing in mind the employees’ fear of contracting the virus, employers and managers took the right decision to the work-from-home approach for the overall safety of their workforce. Allowing their employees to choose between working from the office or home during these crucial months has been a good strategy to keep them encouraged and focused on the job and decrease absenteeism too. This shall help in easing the stress of the employees and also bring home overall good business results until things get back to normal.
5. Shift rotation
Social distancing is the need of the hour to lessen the spread as suggested by WHO. Companies upon mutual consent began functioning at 50% wherein staff has been allocated specific days and timings to attend office thereby avoiding crowding in business sectors. Experts also suggested working day and night shifts to avoid close contact with colleagues and overcrowding office premises. Rotating shifts can ensure containing virus spread. Many believe this would help reduce stress, burnout and bridge the gap between work and personal life at the same time enhancing the company’s productivity. Satisfied and happy workers are less likely to remain absent and work performance may increase a notch higher.
6. ‘Outsourcing’ – a lucrative option
Motivating employees by providing attendance bonuses and incentives is one way of encouraging good attendance practices and reducing workforce absenteeism. Businesses must continue and for this another feasible option is outsourcing. In case there is mass absenteeism due to varied reasons, outsourcing temporary back-office staff from reliable agencies can help cross the permanent employee crunch and ensure the company’s productivity. All in all, managing employee attendance during COVID-19 has opened new avenues for some.
The healthcare department is fighting on a war footing to contain the spread of the virus. Students at all levels of their academic career are stranded with no end in sight to their woes. Work-life has been hit the most that has led to high employee absenteeism. With the above-mentioned options at hand, it is possible to minimize employee absenteeism to a great extent. Simultaneously, organizations need to give top priority to the health and safety of their valued workforce.
- “How to Mitigate Employee Absenteeism” | Mona Bushnell | business.com | Jun 11, 2020
- “Covid-19 to give rise to non-contact biometric attendance” | Diksha Deo | Economic Times | May 06, 2020
- “Managing Employee Attendance” | SHRM
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