Managing and Controlling Absenteeism at Your Workplace

How to Manage and Control Absenteeism within the Company


Control excessive absenteeism
Control excessive absenteeism

Absenteeism in the workplace proves to be a costly concern for businesses, causing a lack of full production. Employers would benefit greatly by developing methods to encourage a stronger and healthier work environment and manage the issue of frequent absences.

Absences that are avoidable, habitual and unscheduled in the workplace leads to reduced productivity and a lack of morale. Absenteeism includes calling in sick, being late and not planned or arranged days off. When an employee calls in, whether legitimately or not, that puts a strain on the company and co-workers who have to pick up the slack often.

Companies need to do some research on how to solve the absenteeism problem. Establish standards and policies to be followed by all employees, ensuring ramifications for continually calling in sick.


The costs of chronic absenteeism
The costs of chronic absenteeism

Costly Effects of Absenteeism

Employees are not coming into the workplace as scheduled costs the company both financially and with production. Co-workers have to cover for the absent person, causing more stress and less morale. Some ways that can cost the employer money are:

• The absent employee is paid while not being present

• Co-workers frequently have to work longer hours to cover the absent employee, resulting in overtime pay

• Sick days unpaid can lead to people coming to work ill and contaminating others, leading to more absenteeism, more “down time” and medical care cost.

• Companies spend billions annually in medical and insurance coverage and care for employees

Companies lose billions of dollars annually for excessive absenteeism. It is crucial to reevaluate the problem and develop a solution, but that can only occur after examining the causes of the problem.


What causes absenteeism
What causes absenteeism

Causes of Excessive Absenteeism

Perform a critical analysis to determine the cause of the issue starting with a rating system as to who continually abuses the system during a particular period. There can be various reasons for excessive absenteeism in the workplace, both legally and illegally.

Is the issue physical such as an unsafe work environment, stressful on the job, or both? Oftentimes, employees abuse the system by calling in sick when they are not. There may also be an outbreak of illness within the company. Causes for some frequent absences may include:

• Disgruntled employees with lack of loyalty to the company

• Actual illness, physical or mental

• Need to care for children and other family members

• Misunderstanding the sick leave policies

• Emotional issues

• Too much stress at work

To find a solution that controls and manages absenteeism in the company, explore the causes for the problem. Doing so can help you develop an intervention for success. It is hard to ensure that your people remain healthy, in particular through the cold and flu season. A mixture that involves a healthy lifestyle along with a comfortable and positive working environment can lessen the workers’ time off sick.


Strategies to improve employee attendance
Strategies to improve employee attendance

Methods to Reduce Absenteeism Issues

Knowing the main causes for the absenteeism problem can help in devising a plan for success and a better work environment. The first step is developing effective communication between employer and employees. Along with this, develop a sound employee leave policy including vacation request forms that make it simple to track days off.

When establishing open communication within the company, employees feel more connected and satisfied, knowing they can speak out about their needs and concerns. Consider an anonymous method for private people to voice their concerns. There needs to be a good rapport in the workplace, or the employee will disconnect.

Revise current guidelines and implement better standards to reduce and minimize absenteeism and create a better work environment. Some steps to consider include:

• Be responsive to tension and unhappiness among the employees
• Create an award system to encourage zero absences
• Ensure new hires understand company policies
• Any changes to current policies need to be passed on to all staff with full understanding
• Take preventative measures to a healthy environment by placing hand sanitizers throughout the workplace, and encourage healthy eating and offer free flu shots
• Any food within the workplace needs to meet strict health standards
• Promote fitness through onsite or nearby gym facilities open to employees
• Establish strict sick-day policies fully enforced with severe repercussions for abuse of the procedures. Be sure employees fully understand the rules.

Have meetings with all employees to guarantee there are no questions or concerns regarding the policies. Consider signatures to confirm each person has no questions or concerns. Despite all efforts, some employees continue to abuse the system. People often look for excuses to take a long weekend or just stay home because the weather is beautiful or, on the flip-side, don’t want to drive to work due to poor weather.


Enforcing HR policies
Enforcing HR policies

Policy Enforcement

It is unreasonable to think that everyone will be fully on board with the rules and regulations you set forth but implementing better communication and rapport will increase morale and cooperation. Using the tips outlined, consider:

• Developing comprehensive sick leave policies enforceable for all employees

• Same rules need to apply to everyone. For instance, expect a doctor’s note for all employees, not just a select few. Rules need to be the same across the board.

• Be mindful of everyone’s human rights, avoiding legislative and discriminatory issues

It is imperative that you take a firm, dependable and compassionate approach to the absenteeism problem, working to deal with the least cooperative employees successfully. Communication and clear expectations with fully enforced repercussions will enhance employee participation and commitment.


This content was provided by Neches FCU, an Equal Employment Opportunity Employer Credit Union.
Neches FCU is a leading Texas credit union with a superior team, always ready to deliver service their 45,000+ members. Their company’s core objective of Ultimate Member Satisfaction is the sole focus for every employee. They are all dedicated to providing a memorable service experience each and every time for clients they consider as family.


FLSA Compliant Employee Timekeeping Systems for Small Businesses

FLSA Compliant Employee Timekeeping Systems for Small Businesses Under the New Overtime Rules


Under the new FLSA overtime rules, employees must meet certain criteria to be considered exempt from overtime pay. As before, they must satisfy the DOL’s executive, administrative or professional job duties tests. Next — and this is the key change with the new rules — they must receive a minimum of $913 a week (or $47,476 annually) on a fixed salary basis.



The new salary threshold alone will mean millions of workers previously paid a salary with no overtime will no longer qualify for exemption. Instead, they will need to be reclassified and receive overtime pay for all hours worked over 40 in a week.

Besides the impact on payroll, the new overtime rule will require specific timekeeping requirements for employers.


Employee timekeeping systems

What does your timekeeping system look like?

Time tracking is not optional. By law, you must keep accurate time records for all non-exempt employees. In addition, the law places the burden on you – not the employee – to prove how many hours are worked each week. If you don’t have strict timekeeping rules and accurate records, and you get challenged, it becomes a “he said / she said” situation.

Employees can say they worked on the clock from home or on the road – or that they came in early or stayed late – and you will have to prove otherwise.

What the law doesn’t specify, however, is the method you use.

You can rely on traditional time clocks that require employees to punch in and out, or a paper system where employees turn in time sheets (or scan and email them). Better yet, you can upgrade to a modern online system where employees submit information via their computers or mobile devices.

Options for Employee Timekeeping Systems for Small Businesses.

Think about something other than a traditional time clock station when you’re looking into timekeeping procedures, it makes sense to go with something more discreet than a traditional time clock station. Why? With the new salary threshold and reclassification, employees may make assumptions about each other’s pay.

For example, they may figure that anyone punching a clock makes less than $47,476 a year. Though this may not be the case, anything you can do to prevent this type of speculation among your staff is a good thing.


Employee timekeeping software


Timekeeping training for non-exempt employees.

There’s a lot you’ll need to share with newly non-exempt employees regarding their work hours and proper timekeeping. In your training with affected employees, you’ll want to cover:

Your overtime approval process

Limitations on off-the-clock work, like checking emails from home

Restrictions with comp time

Break policies

How to report hours

How to handle changes or corrections


As a best practice, consider putting all your timekeeping rules in writing – and distribute them as a policy for employees to sign to acknowledge they’ve read and understood it.


Overtime tracking for employees

Provide timekeeping training for managers and supervisors, too.

Just as important as employee guidance is training for managers and supervisors – the people who will oversee the work of newly non-exempt employees. Your managers and supervisors can make or break your FLSA compliance.

If they don’t manage time issues closely – such as not enforcing mandatory breaks, allowing off-the-clock work, or writing off unauthorized OT — they put your business at risk. They need to understand the basics of the law and their responsibility for enforcing the rules.

Remember: Even if managers tell employees not to work overtime…

You must pay time and half for 40+ hours if you knew or should have known the overtime occurred. This is true even if an employee volunteers to do the extra work off the clock. Basically, the law says if you don’t want to pay overtime, you must be absolutely certain the work isn’t performed. Otherwise, you have no choice but to pay it. You may discipline the employee, but you can’t withhold the additional pay.

Realize, too, that managers and supervisors may need to step up their efforts – at least in the early stages of the new rule – to ensure everything is in order. They may need to do more to allow uninterrupted breaks, monitor workloads and schedules to control overtime, and manage time and productivity in general.

Finally, it’s smart to develop a separate policy that covers requirements for managers. Have them sign the policy to verify they understand their roles with FLSA compliance.