Employers expect workers to miss a certain amount of work days per year. Employees miss work for a number a reasons whether they are sick, take a paid leave, or need time to take care of personal issues.
However, absenteeism can cost companies billions of dollars in lost productivity, customer service, and time management.
Occasional absences are expected in most companies but when attendance policies are abused and habitual absences become a pattern, that’s when it has a negative impact on a company and its employees.
It’s important for business to have a have strategies in place to reduce employee absenteeism.
How An Employee Calling Out Sick Affects Your Company
Why worry about employee absences? Employee absences are commonly overlooked as an issue in the workplace. Most employee benefits have a defined cost, however employee absences aren’t always efficiently tracked and therefore companies aren’t aware of their full costs.
Employee absences have both direct and indirect associated costs.
Some examples of direct costs:
- Costs paid to the absent employee
- Costs paid to replacement staff or overtime employees
- Management costs
Some examples of indirect costs:
- Low productivity
- Overworked and frustrated employees
- Quality of work
Employees who do show up on time and ready to work are burdened with additional responsibilities. Having to tear an employee away from their regular duties lowers productivity in the office.
Rather than having a team of workers being productive there are tasks and workloads being pushed off to other team members and the work goes in circles.
Quality Of Work
While employees are bombarded with workloads outside of their normal responsibilities, they might feel some pressure to get everything done. The busier an employee is, the quicker they work to get things finished, the more room for error. Work will start slipping through the cracks, not being reviewed, and certainly affect the quality of work your customers are getting.
How Managers Can Reduce Employee Absenteeism
Employee absenteeism may be a sign that your employees aren’t fully engaged. There are many issues that come from habitual absences that companies need to consider.
Paid Time Off
Having a Paid Time Off benefit will allow for employees and managers to “plan” for the amount of days an employee will be out for the year. Now, that doesn’t solve the problem for unplanned absences (which can sometimes be avoided), but it will help manage them.
Track Employee Absences
Better planning will account for better employee absentee management. Having an automated system in place so employees are able to put in requests for time for is a helpful tool. Managers will be able to track how often an employee is out of the office, and if there are any red flags that need to be addressed.
The Impact On Your Company
Employee absences are expected in the workplace. People get sick, have babies, or need to take care of personal needs. However, when your absentee policy (if you have one) starts to get abused, it’s time to evaluate the situation and implement strategies to improve your workplace.
An employee may not realize the cost of their absence to the company, and therefore will have no reason not to call out sick. It’s important there are clear cut guidelines of an absentee policy so the employee can understand what’s expected of them.
It’s also a good idea to evaluate your company culture and your employee’s happiness. If you have employees who are regularly calling out sick, than their satisfaction and loyalty as an employee is questionable. Be sure to get all of the facts so you can properly address the situation.