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MANAGING staff absence and effective holiday planning is key to improving operational efficiency over the Christmas period, says leading workforce management solution provider Auto Time Solutions.

Many businesses witness a major increase in staff absences in the run up to Christmas as workers try to fit in their remaining annual leave entitlements before the end of the year and request last minute holidays.

At the same time the number of casual unauthorised absences also increases over the festive period.

With Christmas representing the busiest time of year for most businesses, and many hiring additional temporary staff to cope with projected demand, HR teams are faced with noticeable increases in their workload.

But Christian Berenger, Business Development Director at Auto Time Solutions says businesses can ill-afford to ignore the effect of staff absenteeism.

“At Christmas time the number of people absent from work increases dramatically as staff take holiday time owed to them by the end of the year and take time off to prepare for Christmas.

“While many managers may turn a blind-eye to its immediate impact, the reality is that staff absence can have a dramatic effect on a business through the indirect costs associated with arranging overtime and temporary cover, lost management time and reduced productivity.”

Today’s web-based time and attendance systems can help businesses to significantly reduce the impact of absenteeism by accurately managing staff attendance and offering features which help to improve workforce planning and speed up the holiday planning process.

Scheduling features held within the software enable managers to organise their workforce to accommodate anticipated workloads whilst taking into account holidays and planned absences. This removes the likelihood of overstaffing and boosts overall productivity because staffing problems can be remedied in advance.

Should employees fail to turn up for work within a pre-set time period the latest time and attendance systems can alert managers instantly via text message or emails. This allows managers to provide prompt remedial action and cover staff absences quickly.

Most modern systems also offer a self-service portal so workers are aware of how many holiday days they have remaining throughout the year and can book their holidays in advance. This helps to reduce the number of staff clambering at the last minute to take their remaining holidays in December.

Christian Berenger adds: “Businesses need to understand that their workforce represents their largest controllable asset so need to put systems in place that accurately track and record staff attendance and help to reduce the impact of staff absence. With the latest time and attendance systems businesses can accurately administer staff attendance and minimise the disruption caused by absences over the busy Christmas period.”


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