HUMAN Capital - Fall 2015 - (Page 28)

ARTICLE Curbing absenteeism The aHS attendance awareness Program focuses on promoting attendance, while addressing absenteeism concerns. bY GreTa marTIN, mPa, CHrP, SHeYla PoPeSCu, bPaS, aTC, aND mIraNDa KeNNeDY, buSDIP as in most organizations, absenteeism has considerable financial, employee morale/ resiliency and workforce productivity implications. For alberta Health Services (aHS), improving attendance is better for patient care, for staff and ensures that we are fiscally responsible. In order to curb absenteeism - reducing unscheduled short-term, non-culpable absences - the Hr team developed the attendance awareness Program. In comparing absence hours of a single month- may 2014 compared to may 2015 - there is net reduction of over 85,000 absence hours. The value of this program is significant. the build The aHS attendance awareness Program focuses on promoting attendance, while addressing absenteeism concerns. It also provides employees with support and resources to create a work environment that functions well for the entire team. Key components in developing the program included creating an attendance at work policy and collaborating with the client - operational leaders - to formalize the process to enter/exit the program as well as developing resources and supports for them. as a business partner, Hr responded to operational requests for a standardized process to effectively manage attendance. after initial research into best practise attendance awareness programs and in collaboration with the client on what would work for them, the program was piloted for six months in both clinical and non-clinical departments. During this pilot, Hr provided managers with their monthly absenteeism statistics. In addition, these managers took part in a survey to understand their use of the program and confidence in dealing with attendance issues throughout the pilot, to determine any changes in management of absenteeism. both the absenteeism statistics and the manager feedback showed that the program resulted in improved attendance and improved behaviours for dealing with attendance issues. Focus groups were also held with managers throughout the broader organization to gather feedback on the proposed program and tools. In addition, during the pilot phase of the attendance awareness Program, attendance management was used as a learning project for participants in the aHS executive education program. a report and recommendations based on a review of literature, other organizations practice, and a review of the pilot program was developed. most of these recommendations were built into the program. The last step was having the whole Hr Client Services team involved in implementing the program - sharing what worked and immediately refining what didn't from an Hr and client perspective. all frontline Hr team members were provided training on the program components and tools to equip them to support their clients. How it Works The program includes increasing steps after an employee exceeds the standard permissible number of absences which managers have the discretion to determine although a baseline is outlined in the program. The steps begin with conversations between the manager and the employee and escalate to letters, more meetings and established review periods. The goal is to assist the employee in addressing their absences from work. The attendance awareness Program operates in tandem with Workplace Health and Safety and other initiatives within aHS to reduce overall absenteeism. Identifying how to become and remain healthy and how to make the overall workplace healthier is encouraged as a constructive joint discussion between an employee and their manager to assist in addressing many of the causes of absenteeism. The first phase in rolling out the program in aHS was awareness - emphasizing with managers the importance of managing absenteeism and with staff on the importance of good attendance. supporting Managers To start, Hr engaged operational leaders to understand the program requirements, and provide supports to implement/ monitor the program. as aHS is one of the largest health care providers in Canada, employees have varying professions, levels of education, and geographic locations. The attendance awareness Program had to be flexible in adapting to specific client needs. For example, some areas had experience with a formal attendance awareness program while others had no experience managing attendance. "INTroDuCING THe ProGram HaS HaD a PoSITIVe INFlueNCe oN THe STaFF. INITIallY STaFF THouGHT THIS ProGram To be a NeGaTIVe STeP IN aDDreSSING abSeNTeeISm. HoWeVer IT HaS beeN THe oPPoSITe. We're able To beTTer aDDreSS eXCeSSIVe SICK TIme aND alSo beTTer reCoGNIze aND aDDreSS oTHer abSeNTeeISm ISSueS, beCauSe oF THe ClarITY THe ProGram oFFerS." 28 | aHS ClINICal maNaGer

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of HUMAN Capital - Fall 2015

Leadership Matters
Tech Talk
Building for Success at Alberta Health Services
Fostering Collaboration and Consultation in Developing AHS’s People Strategy
AHS HR Service Delivery Model
Transforming HR in AHS
Implementing Organizational Change Adoption
Leadership Development and the LEA DS in a Caring Environment Capabilities Framework
Blurred Lines: Human Resources and Health-Care Information
Curbing Absenteeism
HR’s Role in Creating and Maintaining a Psychologically Safe Work Environment
HR’s Response in an Emergency Natural Disaster
Legal Source
Policy Corner
Index of Advertisers/

HUMAN Capital - Fall 2015