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Absenteeism in the technical energy professions

absenteeism People analytics

The question:

How to understand and respond to absenteeism with a quantitative approach?

The client’s starting point

  • A major worldwide player in the energy distribution
  • A high rate of absenteeism, which is both costly and a source of disorganisation
  • A voluntary “trial” branch with 300 sites and 15,500 employees in France


Akoya’s response

  • A multi-criteria analysis of the available data and a competitive study to identify 6 areas of absenteeism (criteria: number of hours of training, age, family situation, type of absence, etc.)
  • The breakdown of absenteeism rates and the identification of more or less significant areas for reduction
  • Formulation of specific long-term improvements and modelling of the real economic impact of planned actions

The whole story

Absenteeism is an expensive issue for companies: very often, 1% of absenteeism generates costs equivalent to 1% of the wage bill. This can be explained by the accumulation of direct costs such as salary maintenance or indirect costs such as the lack of organisation.

Our client, a major player in energy distribution worldwide, wanted to identify the underlying causes of absenteeism and find solutions as part of its strategy to develop well-being at work.

Akoya Consulting worked on a pilot scope of 300 sites and 15500 employees to understand absenteeism at the level of the group’s various businesses, to provide solutions and to model their impact over time, on the absenteeism rate itself as well as on the savings achieved.

The company began by identifying and classifying the main families of absenteeism by typology before reducing the scope of the study to absences that the company could influence: accidents at work, short-term sick leave, etc. An initial analysis confirmed that the client’s absenteeism rate was higher than the sector average.

Based on demographic criteria and local absenteeism rates, 6 agencies across France were then selected to be included in the pilot scope for analysis of causes, formalisation of creative responses and modelling of the expected economic impact.

The overall study found that an overall reduction in absenteeism of 0.6 percentage points seemed credible and would save €5.2 million over 3 years. In total, nearly 400 ideas were generated by employees in creative workshops conducted by Akoya Consulting to improve well-being at work, of which 12 ideas were deemed to have high potential. Some examples: a mobile physiotherapy/osteopathy unit to reduce work fatigue, a partnership with BlaBlaCar to improve work-related travel.