How to Address Absenteeism

In our last post, A Modern Menace – Absenteeism at Work, we noted the causes and consequences of prolonged or frequent absenteeism in the workplace. Here is a little more encouragement for you to check on the absentee rate at your workplace. Then, we share some advice for managing absent employees.

Loss from Absenteeism: In Dollars

A recently conducted study pointed out the cost incurred by different occupations as a result of absenteeism and the consequent loss in productivity. It showed that $24.2 million worth of productivity was lost due to absenteeism in the professional occupations excluding nurses and teachers. Not only is productivity reduced due to absenteeism, but the company morale also suffers- the organizational goals can never be fulfilled if the rate of absence is high.

empty desk absenteeism

How to deal with absenteeism?

It is the duty of the management to monitor absences and give the employees verbal or written warnings. It is important that the management address and  enforce certain rules to curb absence of the employees. Remember that the management must keep the dialogue with the employees respectful and understanding. Even after holding the employees accountable for their absence does not mitigate the problem, then formal and severe steps should be taken.

Keeping a balanced work environment is also key. The workplace should be challenging, but should not put extreme pressure on the employees. Weekly stress relieving programs may be arranged by management. Consider weekly yoga classes or social hours.

The relationship between the superiors and the subordinates must be healthy and happy. This will inevitably boost productivity of the company. The job must be such that the employees are challenged and thereby excel in order to boost up their morale. A salary hike or good financial assistance to the employees also keeps them interested in the job.

Managing and Preventing Absenteeism

Occasional absenteeism at work is inevitable- employees may really be ill or they might have prior commitments. However, a serious absentee problem may indicate a number of problems. The best thing that an organization can do in order to reduce absenteeism is to devise a strategy that will monitor and respond to absenteeism.

Your company’s policies should be outlined and explained to the employees. Since we know that drug use is connected to absenteeism, your policy should address drug use. Your drug and alcohol policy should include testing guidelines. Contact ARCpoint Labs of Lawrence for information about drug testing and employment policies.

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