Our parent company, Presagia, is contributing a column to each issue of this year's @Work Magazine, a publication by the Disability Management Employer Coalition (DMEC). If you haven't had a chance to check out this excellent resource, we highly recommend that you do! DMEC provides best practice resources for our complex industry and @Work is one of their resources that we always stay on top of!
This year's column, Absence & Accommodation Technology, focuses on walking employers through the many considerations they should have as they research leave and accommodation technology, dive into the review process, implement their solution, and maintain a healthy relationship with their vendor post go-live. We’ll also be giving an insider’s look at the many pitfalls employers make when assessing and managing technology, with an eye to helping them avoid these common missteps.
As we did with last year's Technology and Absence Management series, we've created this blog series to share each 2020 column with you! In this post, we're sharing the July column, which overviews commonly used absence reports, as well as some specific reporting features to look out for in absence technology.
When it comes to absence reporting, data is power. However, it’s only powerful if you’re able to translate it into meaningful, actionable metrics. In our current age of data overload, it’s crucial to look for absence management technology with strong reporting capabilities and spend time determining the reports that will benefit your organization.
To set the context for this technology discussion, absence management teams are primarily using two types of reports: operational reports to support day-to-day functions and analytical reports to help identify trends and become more strategic.
Common operational reports help your organization to measure administrative workload and productivity; summarize past, current, and upcoming leave cases; and provide data to other systems and departments, such as payroll.
Common analytical reports look at data over time to identify trends, risks, and opportunities, and help you benchmark your absence metrics against others.
When hunting for an absence management system, map out the operational and analytical reports that are vital for your organization. Then review the system’s standard reports to see how much of what you need is available out of the box. Also find out if you can edit them or if you have to go back to the vendor for changes, which is time-consuming and costly.
Explore the report writer, if available, finding out if all data in the system can be reported, how many filters are offered (e.g. date ranges, locations, etc.), and what formats can be produced. If you need to share reports, the ability to export to comma-separated values (CSV) is crucial.
Check security, as some systems allow users to view data they aren’t authorized to via reports. It’s critical that reports adhere to a system’s role- and group-based security to prevent data-privacy missteps.
Dashboards with simple graphs and charts that visualize your data should also be included. These might show average lost workdays, types of leave cases, and so on.
To give you a practical example of determining the right reports for your organization, we recently worked with a customer to measure return on investment (ROI). They are employee-centric and offer unlimited paid time off, and their employee count has more than doubled in a few years.
We determined that while their case volume increased over 100% from 2018 to 2019, their average lost workdays per employee stayed steady. Medical and bonding with children were the most common leave reasons, with each accounting for approximately 45% of overall lost workdays. Intermittent leave consistently accounted for about 3% of lost workdays. Essentially, we saw no relative increase in lost time and verified that they don’t have a leave abuse issue.
This profile of leave utilization gave them a strong baseline for future measurement, but they also wanted to identify ROI in the form of efficiency gains.
From 2018 to 2019, they saw a 113% increase in their case management tasks, going from 3,738 to 7,965 tasks completed. They also saw a 291% increase in leave notices sent, from 1,329 to 5,192. All of this was managed by the same two people.
As with this customer’s experience, it’s important to find the reports that are meaningful to you. Knowing these, you will be better prepared to find the right reporting technology and start leveraging your absence data in new, insightful ways.