Are you doing things to increase it or reduce it?
Absenteeism is costing you MONEY through lost productivity!
It's also a huge MORALE killer!
After all somebody has to do their work!
Over time, it will create animosity!
This over time begins to eat away at the team.
It is no mystery that most unscheduled absences are not due to an individual actually be ill. Instead many employees call in ill because they are not happy at work and therefore, use a sick day to avoid it.
I suppose one solution is to allow your staff to do whatever they like and provide them with plush accommodations so that they are all very happy and in tern it will reduce absences! Well maybe we better rethink this solution!
How do we create a work environment that will stop...
However, the reality is that we need to create a work environment that will motivate most of your staff to enjoy their jobs. This is a tough balancing act! After all, we must balance the needs equally of the employees, customers, and the owner. Giving everything to more or one group than another will cause the business to fail.
So how do we create a work environment that will stop your staff from calling in every time they build up enough sick time to call in?
We know that from national surveys more money is not the solution! We do know that the overall reason is working conditions or in other words respect for them. Employees know when you actually care about them and when you are just giving them lip service.
Maybe it’s purchasing a very soft mat to stand on if they are a cashier. Try standing in the same place all day, every day! It is not easy. If you are in a leadership role and you recognize that you can improve the conditions of their work environment, especially when they have not complained about it, then the respect factor goes up tremendously! This also will translate into a reduce absenteeism rate in most cases if it is a real concern of your staff.
Maybe they are going through a divorce...
Also in a leadership role it is important to be in touch with your employees. That doesn’t mean you have to get all into their personal business, but it does mean to have your antennas up for when you recognize that they have personal issues. Maybe they are going through a divorce! Maybe they have a seriously ill child! Maybe they just lost a loved one! Maybe their children are giving them hell! All these types of personal issues can translate into absences!
Now I know as a leader you may not be able to solve these issues, but understanding them and offering them scheduled time off when they need it so that they can try to solve the problems/issues on their own. This creates an environment of caring and caring translates into reduced absenteeism.
On the other hand as someone in a leadership role I recognize that there are employees that will abuse anything and it truly doesn’t matter if you fed them grapes and cooled them with a palm branch while they were at work, they still would call in at every opportunity.
When you are trying to reduce your absenteeism problem, it all starts with hiring the right person for the job in the first place. This means that you need to do a good job of checking out their references. If they don’t have previous employers as a reference, I would not pursue them as an employee. If they tell you that by giving you their current employer it could jeopardize their job, you make it a condition of employment that you will verify their current employer’s reference after offering them a position. If the reference does not indicate they are a satisfactory employee there then the job offer is off the table. If they understand this and don’t agree to it, then you know there is a problem.
During an interview ask more questions about absenteeism...
During an interview ask more questions about absenteeism. Find out what they think is an acceptable number of unscheduled absent days in a year. If they say zero it should also raise a red flag that they are giving you an answer they think you want to hear instead of what is reality. On the other hand if they tell you a large number I would follow up with what kind of reasons are acceptable for an unscheduled absent day.
Another valuable tool to reduce unexcused absences is to invest in your employees through training. Training is one of the best ways to motivate your staff and it pays huge dividends. Not just in reducing absenteeism, but also in increase productivity, reduced turnover, reduced accident rates, and employees that understand that you are willing to invest time and money in them. Take advantage of this valuable method to reduce your absenteeism rate.
Good Luck and May God Bless You!
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