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Businesses failing to support employees as absenteeism soars

Anton Roe, CEO - MHR

A staggering 84% of UK businesses do not report on employee absences, despite almost half (44%) looking into retention and a third (30%) reporting on projected overhead charges, a new survey. This means a significant majority of organisations are missing out on crucial insights that could directly impact retention rates and overheads, along with other financial and productivity levels, and employee wellbeing.

According to the survey of 250 HR managers and directors in the UK and Ireland, not only are businesses failing to monitor absences, but they are also struggling with the reliability of the people data they do collect. In fact, 37% of HR departments surveyed admit they are facing challenges in accurately reporting on employee data due to not having a single source of truth.

This is down to issues with the data itself, as 44% are struggling with duplicates, whilst 41% say their data is outdated, and 40% are missing information completely resulting in ill-informed business decisions being made. In addition, almost a third (32%) of businesses revealed they have no historical data to make comparisons, which makes it nearly impossible to identify patterns and trends.

“Failure to report on key data, such as employee absence, result in businesses left in the dark about why productivity and profitability are going down, and most importantly why people are leaving and how to prevent it”, commented Anton Roe, CEO at MHR. “Integration is key here. Joining up people data across departments will enable more informed decisions that drive a better employee experience, from wellbeing to recruitment.”

Improved integration would also alleviate the time HR departments are spending on collating, analysing, and reporting their people data as the research found that 81% spend up to 59% of their time on these tasks. Along with better integration, businesses desperately need to better educate teams on how to use people data across other departments and not just HR, as one in five respondents reported that their finance teams wouldn’t know how to use people data in their roles.

“Businesses need to understand that their people are at their very core, and investing in HR technology will help address the issue of inaccuracies and missed insights while freeing up time within the business that could be better spent implementing and promoting new initiatives,” added Roe.

*MHR International

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