The Most Effective Ways to Reduce Absenteeism in the Workplace

Absenteeism can be defined as the habitual pattern of staying away from an obligation or duty without a valid reason. In organisations, it not only creates problems for management but also affects the general productivity and output of the business. Habitual absenteeism can be caused by several factors such as personal problems, a dysfunctional work environment, sickness, employee performance issues and lack of clear expectations among others.

Most organisations offer Employee Assistance Programs commonly referred to as EAP that assist employees who are going through personal issues such as finance, work-related and family issues that are affecting their performance as well as attendance. Also, poor management practices that result in absenteeism include poor management communication skills, problems with supervisors interacting and managing employees, not setting clear attendance expectations and not being accountable for attendance among others.

How can managers reduce absenteeism in the workplace?

The first thing is to ensure that the managers are properly trained and supported to deal with the staff members appropriately and professionally. Below are a few tips to help reduce absenteeism in the workplace.

Writing an Attendance Policy

An attendance policy will help in the formalisation of the organisation’s expectation for attendance. Ensure that the meaning of being tardy and what constitutes to its excessiveness is well given out in the policy. It should also be used as a measure of good performance.

Setting Clear Attendance Expectations

After sharing the attendance policy with the employees, ensure to also discuss with them on how they should notify the organisation when they will be absent from work. They should be aware of the number of acceptable unplanned absence allowed and the consequences of crossing the performance line.

Rewarding Good Attendance

When an organisation rewards good attendance, they motivate all employees in general. The rewards can be in the form of a bonus, paid leave, pay rise and merit increase among others. The most common method is awarding employees who have had no unplanned absences for a year and is normally included in the annual performance appraisal process.

Providing Employee Support

This is one of the most effective ways of reducing and solving employee absenteeism in the workplace. Employees, just like all other human beings, go through challenging times in life. This is where EAP programs come into play to help employees deal with their issues that affect attendance. This not only helps them through the rough times but also helps them feel valued by the organisation.