Absenteeism is an expensive and global issue costing organizations billions of dollars. When a company cannot keep a tab on the absenteeism rate in the workforce, it can severely affect the output and the bottom line. While HR has always struggled to decide how to reduce absenteeism in the workplace, some new solutions are coming up.
In this article, we look at some ways how to reduce absenteeism. But first, let’s start with the definition.
What is absenteeism?
Absenteeism is when a worker willfully and regularly comes into work without providing an “acceptable reason.” The critical word here is ‘acceptable,’ which doesn’t include authorized absences such as holidays, health appointments, paid leaves, illness, childcare, etc.
However, it is tricky to define absenteeism as the word, as there are instances when long-term health problems, burnout, or stress resulting from the workplace can cause absenteeism. All these are legitimate health issues that need to be addressed. As a manager or supervisor, you’ll have to accommodate seldom staff absences from time to time.
However, if it becomes seemingly frequent, you must take the following measures.
Seven ways to reduce absenteeism in the workplace
1. Creating an attendance policy
Your workers must be able to aware of what are the company attendance policies. Therefore, the company attendance policy should be clear, and every employee should be mindful of the consequences they can face due to frequent absenteeism.
All the points must be mentioned, including what counts as unaccepted absence, how the company follows up on unsanctioned leaves, and how employment can be affected due to excessive absenteeism. To ensure that workers are adhering to the policy seriously, managers must enforce it consistently.
2. Reward employees with good attendance
Most of the resources on how to decrease absenteeism in the workplace talk about the steps you can take to mitigate the challenge but often miss out on rewards. It would help to reward the employees for good attendance records to encourage such behavior.
Adding an incentive to attend work is one of the best ways to let employees voluntarily keep attendance high. The attendance system should not penalize the employees for legitimate reasons for being absent such as illness or childcare.
3. Address unscheduled absences immediately
One of the reasons why absenteeism becomes such a significant problem for a company is when managers cannot immediately take action to address unscheduled absences. As mentioned, it is mandatory to implement the attendance policy consistently and hand out consequences.
However, it must not be a knee-jerk reaction to every absentee; managers and supervisors should evaluate the reason for the absence and support the workers if needed. Remember that addressing unscheduled absenteeism is not only about dishing out sanctions but creating a clear divide between what is acceptable and what is not.
A recommended way to reduce staff absenteeism is to introduce the return-to-work interview. There are many benefits – it shows companies care for the staff, helps workers ease into their roles, and reduces the rate of repeated absenteeism.
4. Find ways to reduce employee stress
You must first check that the working environment is not stressful or unhealthy for the workers. The solution to reducing absenteeism in the workplace lies in understanding the root cause of the problem. It is not unusual for workplace stress to cause high employee absenteeism.
Explore options like implementing a wellness program and making your workers’ health one of the top priorities. Employees who are physically and mentally healthy are more productive and engaged.
5. Offer flexible working option
A proper work-life balance is essential for workers. Offering a flexible work schedule has proven to be one of the most efficient ways to increase the workforce’s well-being and attachment to the company. If possible, introduce flexible working hours or even remote work.
For instance, Netflix offers unlimited vacation days for employees, contributing to its employee engagement plan.
6. Communicate with employees and provide feedback
An easy way to reduce absenteeism in organizations is to improve employee engagement through proper communication. Set up an efficient internal communication system for workers to quickly follow up about the company’s workings, suggest improvements, report problems, and get feedback about their attendance.
7. Keep track of employee absences
To implement these tips successfully, you need reliable attendance management software like Truein.
Truein is a cloud-based, hardwareless employee time and attendance management software that can track daily attendance, absences, and holidays and keep track of sanctioned leaves. It also allows you to create and maintain an attendance policy that you can implement consistently.
Workers can request leave through the app from their phones, and concerned managers are notified automatically to accept or reject the request. Truein easily integrates with most payroll software making it a competent workforce attendance management software.
We hope these tips will help you reduce absenteeism in your workforce. Try Truein to handle all employee attendance requirements and quickly implement your company’s attendance policy.