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Top tips for tracking absenteeism in the transportation industry

Published: August 28, 2018

Every company operates on a schedule and depends on its workforce to maintain pace. In most cases, the timeline won’t fall apart if one worker doesn’t show up, but frequent absences can bring down even the most failsafe plan. Transportation industry is quite dependent on timely service, so attendance management is even higher priority than for an average company. For a delivery business or logistics provider to be successful, it’s absolutely essential to develop smart techniques for tracking absences and ensuring that all important deadlines are met.

Using a combination of technological tools and organizational techniques, transportation providers can get a more accurate picture about absenteeism. Here are a few tips worth trying:

 

Tip #1 – GPS tracking

Knowing where each vehicle is located at any particular time is mandatory for sustained performance in the transportation business. Instead of relying on estimates by drivers, managers can use GPS technology to locate vehicles in real time. With a GPS-based tracking system, companies can control the fleet, follow the progress of deliveries and account for personnel. This system basically prevents drivers from falsely claiming to be en route while they are actually conducting their private business. That way, wasted hours are kept at a minimum and task scheduling can be done effectively even for long-distance deliveries. A GPS device can be built into the vehicle and protected from tampering, and access codes should be given only to managers in change of the unit. This measure isn’t too invasive and there shouldn’t be any resistance against it, while the benefits it produces will affect company fortunes on many levels.

 

Tip #2 – Reports from team leaders

In a well-structured organization, every team is led by a responsible professional who understands the requirements of the job and has close communication with all team members. Along with other duties, the leader should be tasked with accurate reporting of attendance for each week, providing firsthand insight from the grounds. It’s much harder for workers to trick their immediate superiors and misrepresent time spent out of office than it would be to compile the paperwork and justify absences to an administrative body. Regular attendance reports can be very useful for statistical purposes, illustrating true staffing needs for every part of the company and driving future hiring practices. Team leaders should be trained to recognize signs of troubling behaviours and patterns of absences that imply possible abuse, so that unreliable employees can be replaced before they cause more damage. Finally, more active role by the middle management could improve internal dynamics and allow supervisors to feel involved in the performance evaluation process.

 

Tip #3 – Centralized HR database

Large companies sometimes fall into a trap of compartmentalized data storage, making it nearly impossible to gain a complete view of the workforce. That can be remedied if the company deploys a central database that allows mobile access and integrates all sources into a single unified data structure. In this way, information about work hours of all employees will be kept in the same place, so retrieval is much faster and there is no possibility for out-dated or redundant reports. Managers can easily check availability of qualified workers for any particular date, while HR professionals are able to perform deeper and more reliable analysis in shorter time. Furthermore, this ensures that the same methodology for accounting work hours (especially for drivers and other mobile workers) is applied across the board, levelling the field when it comes to rewards and recognition. Finally, the costs of data storage and management will decrease with centralization, while leftover funds can be used to bolster the workforce with new hires.

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