Workplace absenteeism reduces productivity, increases labor costs and employee burnout, and causes poor customer service. While there are genuine causes for employee absenteeism, such as illness or bereavement, some absences are habitual. How you handle an absence influences your employee’s ongoing engagement with the organization and can reduce future absenteeism. Read on for six tips to better manage absenteeism.
1. Develop a clear attendance policy
The first step to reducing employee absenteeism is creating a clear attendance policy. An attendance policy guides employees on how to report absences, the company’s procedures to follow up unsanctioned absences, and the repercussions for excessive absenteeism. Discuss the attendance policy with your staff members and have them sign it to show their understanding.
Be sure to enforce the attendance policy consistently in every situation so that employees take it seriously. Keeping track of the attendance and reporting processes can be difficult, especially when dealing with a large number of employees, which is why you should consider automating attendance processes to manage and enforce the policies.
2. Encourage employee engagement
An effective way to increase employee retention and reduce absenteeism is by developing an engagement strategy that makes your staff members feel more committed to the organization. This entails streamlining internal communication where employees can follow what’s happening, share their inputs, inquiries, and expectations, and report complaints.
You could also invest in employee training and development programs to help employees improve their existing skills and learn new ones while participating more in the company’s activities.
3. Improve your employee’s wellbeing
Stress, anxiety, illness, and burnout lower your employee’s immune system response, increasing health-related absenteeism. To curb this, you could consider implementing a wellness program to offer access to much-needed health resources, provide breaks during the workday, and educate employees about stress management. This lowers employee healthcare costs, reduces stress, and improves morale and workplace culture.
4. Offer flexible working options
Offering flexible hours whereby your employees can leave early, take breaks, or arrive later in the morning allows them to work when they are more productive. Introducing remote working, where employees can work from home, is also an effective way to support working parents or those with other responsibilities to keep working without making sacrifices. This reduces stress, boosts morale, and shows that you care and can adapt to the needs of your employees, reducing absenteeism.
5. Reward excellent attendance
Implementing reward programs for staff members with good attendance is the best way to motivate them to attend work. You could give bonuses to employees with no absences within 12 months. However, be careful when developing a reward scheme as some employees may have genuine reasons for being absent, such as bereavement. Ensure your reward system does not penalize staff who have excused absences.
6. Provide feedback
Be sure to let your employees know where they could improve and what they are doing right. This helps them feel noticed and appreciated and pushes them to give their best, improve their performance and reduce the chances of missing work.
Absenteeism in the workplace is a problem that impacts productivity, morale, and service delivery. Consider implementing the above strategies to reduce absenteeism to achieve your company’s bottom line.
HR Future Staff Writer