In addition to the side of our practice that is based on pragmatic responsive retained support for our employer clients, we also act on a project basis for non-retained clients, where we are brought in to solve a particular issue. In line with our ethos when we act on a project basis we don’t time record and charge by the hour but instead we agree a fixed fee with the client. We guarantee that fee will not increase.
A recent example of a project we undertook was for a client who manufactured parts for the automotive industry. Their problem was around absenteeism. Before our involvement absence was running at 11%. An average for their industry is around 4%.
We agreed with the Board what we would do to address this expensive and crippling problem.
Firstly we engaged with their recognised Trade Union officials and explained the extent of the problem and the benefits of a solution, including of course creating funds that could partly be used in wage negotiations and also of helping to ensure the long term viability of the Company and with it their members careers. Their buy-in and support was helpful in getting matters underway.
We then drafted a robust but fair absence management policy where absences were accurately recorded, return to works interviews were mandatory and absence over particular trigger levels invoked a sequential 3 stage disciplinary process.
We then put together training sessions for their line managers and coached and assisted them in how to conduct a return to work interview and how to apply the new policy.
Within 6 months absence had fallen from 11% to 5%. When we contacted them again another 6 months down the line, they were proud and pleased to tell us absence was now just over 2.5%!
Effective absence management has a swift and measurable impact on the bottom-line. It’s almost money for nothing!