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Sick Yet? Managing Through H1N1 Season

As more and more of our friends and neighbors are experiencing the effects of the H1N1 virus, we thought we’d weigh in with some tips of our own.

As the flu season has unfolded, we’ve been receiving a variety of questions from our customers related to H1N1.  Because we sell data collection devices (time clocks) through which over 30 million people per day clock their time,  many of our customers are asking about strategies to reduce worker infection when many people are punching in and out through the same device.  In addition, customers are asking how to use our software to track absences specific to H1NI.  We created this resource guide to compile answers to these and other questions.  In addition to the resources listed in the above referenced resource guide, there are excellent recommendations in these OSHA and SHRM sites related to prevention, presenteeism and FMLA compliance.

I’ve written a few posts in the past related to presenteeism; i.e. sick workers coming to work and negatively impacting the productivity of their co-workers.   This phenomenon can affect all employers, some of whom still make it hard for sick workers to stay away.  See this story on Walmart demerits for sick employees.  This story is followed by over 100 comments from employees with similar stories to tell.

What’s your employer doing to minimize the impact of H1N1?

KronosWorks 2009 Highlights

For those of you who couldn’t join us this year, following are some conference highlights from Las Vegas:

  • Blue Man Group at the opening session – high energy start to the conference
  • Ken Dychtwald on workforce management across the generations
  • Nice blog post from Mark Smith of boutique analyst firm Ventana Research summarizing his perspective on conference highlights.
  • Lots of tweeting at this year’s conference.  For those of you who tweet, check out comments from analysts, customers and Kronites by searching on hashtag #kronosworks.

November 2009 Retail Labor Index Report

Guest Blog from Kelly Northrop, Analytics Consultant at Kronos:

The November release of the Kronos Retail Labor Index includes results for both September and October 2009.  After an uptick in August to 3.00%, the September Index dropped to 2.58% (for every 100 applications received, 2.58 hirings occurred).  The September result coincided with a decrease in retail sales estimates by the U.S. Census Bureau.

The October Index level rebounded somewhat, to 2.90%.  Actual application and hiring data for October gives us an early view into the holiday shopping and hiring season.  Kronos’ retail clients traditionally transact 25% or more of their total year’s hiring volume in October and November.  Because labor capacity can be quickly augmented, a retailer expecting a slow holiday sales season might delay hiring until sales begin to increase.

Our results indicate that retailers appear to be preparing for another weak holiday shopping season. Changes in labor capacity levels for Kronos clients reflect not only an overall downward trend since 2006, but also sequentially smaller increases in capacity during the holiday season in 2008, and now 2009.  In addition, September and October 2009 application totals were the highest since 2006, while hiring levels were the lowest since 2006.  Our December report will show whether November hirings increased to compensate for this early lack of volume, or whether diminished hiring activity continued throughout the season.

Click here for the full report.