Calculating the Cost of Absence

February 18, 2016

“I’m on vacation.” “I have a doctor appointment.” “My kid is sick.”

Sound familiar?

Between vacations, sick days, appointments and family obligations, there are a thousand and one reasons that your employees can’t come to work. But no matter how legitimate they are, these absences take a toll on your business, one that you need to find a way to mitigate.

If you want to find out a way to lessen the cost of employee absences, the first thing you need to do is develop a measurement strategy that will tell you exactly how hard absenteeism is hitting you.

Measuring absenteeism

Measuring absenteeism is a necessary move, but it can be difficult to know what measurement strategy you should adopt. You could stick to measuring the number of absences, or the absenteeism rate (the number of absences, or the total hours absent as a percentage of total hours worked).

However, if you want to get a more thorough picture of the cost of absenteeism, one that measures in productivity instead of hours, you need an in-depth measurement like the Bradford Factor.

The Bradford Factor

The Bradford Factor is an indicator that relates the frequency of absences with their duration, and calculates a score for the absence of each employee. In this way, you can calculate which absences are more likely to be disruptive to normal business activity. Once it’s been calculated and measured over time, you can use the Bradford Factor to predict future exposure to absenteeism and its impact on performance.

No good analysis exists in a vacuum. Correlating the Bradford Factor with employee productivity data can help determine the impact of absences on employee output, and help you develop a tailored plan to address the productivity loss on an employee-to-employee level basis.

Sound difficult? It doesn’t have to be. Let your workforce analytics tools do the heavy lifting for you, and you’ll come away with a measurement strategy that gives you the information you need on employee absences. Good luck!

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