ADP: Companies Do Little To Control Absenteeism

ADP Survey Reveals U.S. Employers Not Taking Concrete Steps to Control Workplace Absenteeism

Absenteeism clearly affects productivity and profitability, but few companies are taking concrete steps to control absence at work.

According to a new ADP Research Institute study, most companies track employee absences, many do not take steps to manage and reduce absenteeism. ADP is a leading provider of human resource management systems.

The May 2012 online survey on Total Absence Management (TAM) looked at the system organizations use to track absence, compliance and administration; it included participation from 503 HR/benefits decision makers in U.S. companies.

“Our survey shows that most employers in the U.S. do not conduct systemic benchmarks and do not fully quantify the impact of absence on their business,” said Tim Clifford, President, Benefits Services and Talent Management at ADP, payroll and benefits administration services.

“Although companies are aware of the resulting losses in productivity,” Clifford said in a press release, “many are unwilling or unable to take explicit steps to control absenteeism.”

“As employers move toward automation of human capital management,” he added, “we see a clear need for the effective integration of Total Absence Management programs with existing payroll and HR platforms.”

ADP Research Institute’s Total Absence Management review includes these findings:

  • Large companies are far more likely than midsized companies to assess their organization’s percentage of employee absences versus the industry average.
  • Large companies report a significantly higher average annual rate of absenteeism (3.5 percent) than do midsized companies (3.2 percent).
  • Half or more of the decision makers in midsized (50 percent) and large (54 percent) companies report that absenteeism has reduced productivity; about one third (30 percent of midsized and 36 percent of large) say absenteeism has reduced profitability;  at least 28 percent of midsized and large companies report increased operational costs.
  • The top reason for absences: Healthcare and related issues; they account for about half of all absences in both large and midsized companies. Companies offering wellness programs report that these programs have significantly reduced absenteeism—more than half of midsized (53 percent) and large (58 percent) employers.
  • Large employers are much more likely to involve disciplinary actions than midsized employers (47 percent versus 35 percent). Large employers are also more likely than midsized employers to find reasons for absence as a way to identify opportunities for additional health and wellness benefits (27 percent versus 13 percent).
  • Midsized companies are more likely to rely solely on manual methods to track absence (49 percent), ensure compliance (52 percent) and apply absence policies (56 percent), while large employers are more likely to use a combination of manual and automated work flow processes, in addition to specialized software.

For more information, read the ADP report on Total Absence Management at

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Published by @philammann

Put. That coffee. Down. Writer/editor/whatever it takes. @margaretj13 is my (much) better half. Website: Email: Twitter: @PhilAmmann

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