Have you been having issues with poor attendance at your organization? Has the pandemic cost you a significant amount of money due to increasing absenteeism? Many employers would agree to the first question but might be hesitant or doubtful over the second one. Most companies overlook internal costs such as employee absenteeism and fail to find a solution. Celayix’s employee scheduling software and its shift bidding feature address this problem effectively and provide an optimal solution. This blog will explore shift bidding, a modern scheduling feature, and its impact on increasing attendance in your workplace.
Impact of absenteeism/low attendance on the workplace
Absenteeism is different from occasionally being absent from your workplace. The habitual non-presence of an employee at their job beyond an acceptable number of days for a legitimate cause is referred to as absenteeism. The impact of such low attendance goes beyond just loss of wages and can break the work ethic. Let’s look at some of the significant implications of absenteeism on the employee and the company.
Productivity & Efficiency
Absenteeism is a vicious cycle. Absenteeism requires coworkers to make up for the lost productivity of an employee. Moreover, the extra work can also make them a victim of stress and burnout and resultantly also engage in absenteeism. The burden of one employee’s work disperses to the entire workplace and is likely to slow down the business operations and functions. Productivity and efficiency are two key assets of any business, and absenteeism hinders these assets at every level of the business operation. Without the right scheduling tools, companies often have to pay overtime and ask employees to overwork to the extent that productivity and efficiency are lost in the process to meet their deadlines.
Profitability for a company is generally lost due to two significant reasons: (i) Increased costs and (ii) Reduced output. Let’s look into both separately;
- Increased Costs: Companies typically find additional labour costs in overtime pay and hiring contractors to fill the gap of absent employees. These costs are often exorbitant yet necessary when there are deadlines for any assignment. As a result, companies can retrieve most of the missing work at a much higher cost.
- Reduced output: Some jobs or tasks are such that no other employee can take over. Companies accept the reduced output when employers have no alternative to recoup some missed work due to the absent employee. Consequently, companies are often placed in a tug-of-war conflict where they choose between increased costs or reduced output. Either way, the company’s profitability is deeply impacted in the short run and may sustain until absenteeism isn’t fixed.
The concerns regarding the morale of the workplace following low attendance is often understated and overlooked. Morale is a huge factor in causing absenteeism and/or becoming a consequence of absenteeism. Absenteeism is often driven by inadequate staffing and has the potential to increase employee stress levels. Poor workforce management that affects employee’s health and morale leads to more days of missed work. It is a vicious cycle. The added workload and stress for employees can always trigger absenteeism, and schedulers often themselves fall into such traps. They find themselves spending an average of 4.2 hours a week finding replacements, adjusting workflow and providing training.
These three impacts are very much connected, and you likely see absenteeism impact all at once. Due to this, the need of the hour is to have a flexible scheduling process that gives employees much-needed work-life balance. Subsequently, Celayix introduced the ‘Shift bidding’ feature, a tool that allows employees to gain more autonomy over their schedules. Let’s look into what shift bidding is and what it does to help combat absenteeism.
Shift bidding is a process whereby one or more employees can express interest in working an open shift. It is an automated alternative method to scheduling that allows the scheduler to retain total control while also giving employees more autonomy over their schedule. The scheduling process starts with the company’s schedulers, notifying employees with shift openings they qualify for. Employees then get the ability to show interest in a shift by submitting a bid. It is different from self-scheduling because employers then review the employees that expressed interest and then decide on the employee based on qualification and cost. After all, why would an employer want to pay overtime costs when it could just select an available, qualified and interested employee to do that shift.
With a combination of this feature with Celayix’s AI, scheduling is auto-filled without the need to spend additional resources. Let’s look at some of the benefits of shift bidding, specifically regarding the problem of absenteeism.
Shift bidding: Improve employee engagement and retention
Shift bidding, like other self-scheduling features, provides incentives that can be used to change behavior. These incentives include:
- Control and flexibility over the schedule for the employees
- Minimizing the costs of monetary attendance incentives for the employers
- Improving client satisfaction for the company
- Creating a consistent customer experience for the clients
Setting up suitable parameters and engaging employees to take advantage of shift bidding makes it effortless for the company to improve employee engagement and retention. These parameters that employers require to focus on are seniority, qualifications, training, overtime, location, and other business requirements. Such parameters make sure that the employees that bid for a shift are the ones that benefit from it the most.
how do employees benefit from shift bidding?
- Accommodate lifestyle needs: Many part-time and hourly employees lack flex schedule options and resort to unaccommodating shifts. As a result, they are unable to find a work-life balance. Shift bidding allows employees to find open shifts that accommodate their unique lifestyle needs. For an employee, such restrictions make it more likely that the shift they’re bidding for doesn’t have much competition from other employees.
- Be actively involved: As a result of employees bidding for a shift that accommodates their lifestyle needs, employees tend to become more proactive within their work environment and take more initiative. As employers are the ones that make the final decision, employees must be proactive to show their intent to work for that particular shift.
- Unbiased system: By setting up these parameters, employers only find the employees that fit these restrictions, hence removing any selection bias. While the preference might be just regarding which employees get the “good shifts” and “bad shifts”, the shift bidding process gives all employees incentive to work harder and get the “good shifts”. By the end, scheduling bias will cease to exist, and so will “bad shifts”.
How do employers benefit from shift bidding, then?
Shift bidding eliminates the need to collect employee availability and preferences manually. As a result, schedules become available in real-time, providing instant and up-to-date access to all employees. The faster the access to employees, the more likely employees can schedule such shifts into their calendars (and not miss their shifts).
Improved employee satisfaction and engagement leads to decreased turnover rates and higher levels of employee retention.
Flexible scheduling is becoming more prominent, and tools like shift bidding, self-scheduling, and autofill make scheduling easier for the managers. They’re an accessible option for any company that is struggling to maintain attendance with employees. With shift bidding, employees can accommodate their lifestyle needs and be more actively involved in the scheduling process, which helps lower absenteeism across the board.