Employee absenteeism can cause extensive harm to a company, and it’s not just about the financial burden. When absenteeism is left unchecked, it can put unfair pressure on other team members, leading to reduced productivity and elevated levels of workplace stress.
There are ways to manage absenteeism – and it is one area where prevention is worth making a move on.
Have a clear policy on absenteeism
All employees need to know the ground rules for absenteeism, and that means your organisation should have a clear employee attendance policy.
Ideally it should state how many days leave of absence an employee is permitted each year and in what cases third party evidence, such as a medical certificate, is needed to confirm the absence was legitimate.
This attendance policy needs to be communicated to your team – new hires in particular. If the policy is altered in any way, clearly explain the changes to your team.
Monitor employee absenteeism
Business leaders often come across the expression “if you can’t measure it, you can’t improve it”, and this applies to absenteeism.
In a busy working week it is easy to lose track of which employees have not turned up for work. By keeping good records, you may see a pattern emerging of which employees are taking time off – and when. This can highlight an issue with just one or two employees rather than the broader team, as well as helping you measure the success of any policies designed to encourage high rates of attendance.
Reward strong attendance
Monitoring employee absenteeism also lets you identify those employees who demonstrate good attendance – and by rewarding this you can incentivise other workers to reduce their absences.
Does your workplace encourage good health?
Your workplace could be a contributing factor behind high levels of absenteeism. Take an honest look at your work environment and consider what could be done to make the company a healthier workplace.
Tight deadlines and heavy workloads can create tremendous stress for employees. Are your staff expected to continually work back without taking regular breaks?
All workplaces experience peak work periods at various times, but when a super heavy workload becomes ingrained in the company’s culture, it can take a toll on your employees’ health and wellbeing.
The combination of a clear attendance policy, tracking absenteeism and providing a healthy workplace, can reduce your organisation’s absenteeism rates and foster a high level of productivity.
It is critical to manage staff members who regularly commit absenteeism – and to prevent it from becoming an unwanted feature of your workplace.