How to Manage and Control Absenteeism within the Company
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.