2 Managing staffing gaps
Managing roster gaps caused by annual leave, sick leave and absenteeism – affect the smooth operation of your unit.
Your cost centre budget has calculated each of these aspects according to a formula.
- Sick leave is usually set around 5%.
- Annual leave is around 10% of your budget.
This means that you need to have a certain number of people off on leave each and every week…………….that’s if you have full FTE (Full-time equivalent – also referred to as EFT – Equivalent Full-time).
In order to meet budget you, as the manager, need to orchestrate and manage all of the different levers.
If you are to manage each of these areas you will need data that shows you how you are tracking.
- Do you know what your sick leave rate is?
- Do you know how much you are spending in study leave? Too much or too little – both can be unhealthy.
- What’s your annual leave liability?
- Does it match what all your staff should have? Or is there an excess?
An excess of annual leave costs the organization and can have a significant impact on the bottom line. Consider this. If an employee paid at $30/hour holds annual leave in excess by 4 weeks (200 hours) then in the first year this equals $12K. The employee holds this in excess for the following year. CPI increases by 3% so the following year the value is $12,360. Then there is an EBA increase of 3% + a 2.5% CPI increase. Now it costs the organization $13,039. And so on. Multiply this by many employees and you can see how this will impact the efficiency of the unit.
Too many people off on leave creates gaps in the roster that will need to be filled by casual or agency staff. This inevitably puts pressure across the who organization. If one area has not managed leave properly all casuals will be pulled to that area. Poor leave management causes stress across the whole system.
Have a leave planner. Make sure everyone knows what the leave allowance is each week. Manage to the rules.
Management of sick leave is another area full of myths and discrepancies.
We are told we cannot talk to our employees about sick leave. But this has swung so far the other way that we are now too scared to ask after our employees, check in with them or find out how long they will be away. You can ask how long your employee is going to be off. You can ask if there is anything you can do to assist. You should check in often to keep in touch if it is long term sick leave. You should try to help staff get back to health and work. It’s good for them and for the team.