Good managers know their employees. They engage individually and understand their motivations as well as the difficulties each may be facing. They work with their team to achieve great results.
Poorly managed absence can create productivity losses in teams and agencies across the APS.
When dealing with unscheduled absence, managers are encouraged to work through a process to determine if there is a problem, and if so, identify the cause of the problem and how to best respond. This includes identifying if:
- there is a pattern of frequent short-term absence
- the employee seems motivated to work, but is experiencing barriers
- the employee seems able to work, but is not motivated
- there is an ongoing illness or injury where support is critical
- the absence is related to ongoing carer responsibilities where innovative solutions could be developed
- the employee is facing too many hurdles returning after a long absence.
By working through this process, managers can effectively respond to unscheduled absence on a case-by-case basis. There are many solutions to tackling absence by reducing barriers to work and engaging employees. To support managers with this issue, check out the absence management toolkit.
Absence data can tell the story. Information can be gained from individual absence data, team and/or agency data. The APSC collects data for the whole of the APS and works with agencies to share innovative solutions to engage staff and reduce barriers to absence. Within the APS, the average unscheduled absence rate in 2016-17 is still high at 11.4 days, although it has dropped slightly from the previous year.