Managing a workforce’s productivity has to be done in a smart, efficient way to improve profits within an industry. One effective method that human resource management is using to accurately track their employees’ payroll and schedule adherence, is by means of the Bradford Factor.
The Bradford Factor provides the ratio of each employee’s length and number of absences over a continual 52 week period, and calculates an absence score in points for each employee. The Bradford Factor likely got its name back in the 1980s at the Bradford University School of Management. It was developed to bring awareness to organisations of how absenteeism can affect their work flow from a short and long term perspective. The theory behind the factor is that frequent, short term absences, in particular, appeared to create more of a negative impact on productivity vs. single incidences of prolonged absence.
The Bradford Factor’s score is determined by the following formula:
B = S^2 \times D
B = the score of the Bradford Factor
S = the total instances of absence an individual accrues over a certain time period
D = the total length of days of absence an individual accrues over a set period
HR management utilizing the Bradford Factor are able to be alerted to unusually high incidents of absences or sick days over the same set period with individuals from different departments and throughout their entire work force. As a result, employees with several short leaves or sick days are penalized more often than those with a small number of long term absences. It also encourages employees to be more attentive about maintaining a positive attendance record. It also helps them to keep track of their eligibility for sick leave and vacation schedules based on their hire date and the cumulative hours they’ve worked.
The Bradford Factor is an effective way for industries, such as manufacturing, retail, transport, service, health and call center environments where schedule adherence and timesheet tracking are important. Organisations can create work schedules that account for employees on legitimate leaves, while exercising intervention to those employees who take excessive absences when necessary.
The main priority for organisations is to keep accurate time and attendance in order to properly calculate the Bradford Factor. However, major decisions should not be based on the Bradford Factor alone. It is only a time management tool used to alert HR management about timesheet and attendance issues. If there are legitimate circumstances that affect an employee’s attendance, it is possible in many cases to simply rearrange his or her schedule to handle deadlines and project demands. Another way organisations can benefit by using the formula of the Bradford Factor is with their ability to effectively save production time and administration costs.