Employee absences can have a large impact on a company. Most employees aren’t aware of the cost their company takes on when they call out.
However, most HR professionals say that employee attendance issues lead to a loss of revenue and productivity, and there are shocking employee attendance stats to show some of the reasoning employees call out of the office.
If employee absenteeism is an issue at your workplace, check out these tips on how to reduce unplanned employee absences.
6 Tips To Reduce Unplanned Employee Absences
Create A Clear Attendance Policy
Creating a clear attendance policy may seem like a no brainer. You may even be confident in the policy that exists already, but it doesn’t hurt to revise what you have.
Sometimes employee attendance and tardiness could be attributed to a misunderstanding of the office hours.
If you have an employee who has a record of similar excuses for tardiness or you start to notice a pattern of tardiness, it’s a good idea to make sure that employee (and all employees) are aware of the office hours of operation.
Having clear cut guidelines for employees will also help reduce unplanned absences. It’s important that the policy is acted upon consistently throughout the office, and employees understand how absences will affect them.
Employees should be made aware of the procedure is for calling out of work. They should have a designated person to talk to and knowledge of what information is needed, such as a doctor’s note.
Create A Satisfying Work Culture
Employees who are satisfied at work will be less likely to abuse an attendance policy. However, it’s important for HR professionals to know that 25% of employees leave their jobs due to lack of recognition.
Making sure your employees are happy at work should be an important part of your work culture.
Rewarding good attendance policies could be a good way to recognize employees for their work.
A few good ideas would be to give an employee some sort of bonus for not having any unplanned absences over a certain period of time, or give additional PTO time to employees with no unplanned absences.
However, there are additional ways you can reward employees without increasing their pay. Some of these ideas such as a flexible working day, coffee gift card, or a free lunch, could be just enough to keep employees engaged and satisfied.
Offer A Flexible Schedule
If you’re noticing an employee has a habit of being late or calling out due to the same repetitive reasons, for example, possible child care issue, transportation, or an illness, it’s a good idea to talk to that employee in person.
Don’t approach the situation as a punishment, but a conversation to help find the root of the problem. Offering a more flexible work schedule, maybe a slight change in hours, or a possible work from home day will help this employee work to his/her full potential.
Just remember that a flexible schedule is not just the company giving up things for the employee, but the employee also compromising in how they arrange their work schedule to suit the needs of both sides.
It’s important that employee understands what’s expected of them in this scenario, as well as if they were working in the office.
Track Employee Absences
If you’re not tracking employee absences, it’s time to start!
Look at the kind of software you’re using and see if there’s a better way to track how employee attendance is being monitored, and where there’s room for improvement.
There is time and labor management software that will allow you to view the amount of absences an employee has, notes or documentation as to why they were out, and reviewing this kind of information will help give you a sense of how to approach the situation.
Consider A Wellness Program
Help change employee behavior with a wellness program. Creating a work culture that focuses on employee health and wellness will help creative a positive environment.
Employees will feel inspired to lead a healthier lifestyle.
It’s also a good way for employers to show that they care about their employees and give employees the tools they need to lead a better lifestyle.
Eliminate Workplace Stress
Mental health is just as important as physical health. Sometimes employees feel overwhelmed or stressed out at work and feel the need to take a mental health day.
Help your employees eliminate some of that stress by creating an environment where employees feel comfortable enough to talk to their managers.
However there are also some fun and cool ideas you can do around the office to keep employees engaged, having fun, productive, and stress free:
- Have a mandatory “break” where employees need to get up and walk around for 15-20 minutes during the day to clear their mind and get their bodies active.
- Require employees to leave their desks for lunch to ensure they are getting time to eat and recharge.
- Have an office “game area” where employees can break to play a game of ping pong or darts to release some stress, celebrate after an achievement, or simply take a break.
- Plan office happy hours or bring in some sort of treat for the office to enjoy, talk casually, and unwind.
Making sure employees aren’t overworked, overtired, and overwhelmed is a key factor in reducing unplanned absences.
Managing Employee Absences
HR often has a lot on their plate. However, taking the time to streamline as much as possible will only help make their day more manageable.
Making sure you have a clear cut attendance policy in the office, along with some of the other tips mentioned, will help reduce unplanned employee absences.
Review what policies your company currently has in place and see if there is any room for improvement.