The Positive Way to Deal with Employee Absenteeism in 7 Steps

The Positive Way to Deal with Employee Absenteeism in 7 Steps

Several reasons could make one of your employees absent from work - ill-health, maternity leave, vacation, or running family errands - all these are common in any workplace. However, unscheduled absences from the workplace can negatively impact your business; it can affect your bottom line, morale, finances, and productivity. Even though some random unplanned absences could be a result of sudden circumstances, if you notice a pattern, and absenteeism becomes regular with some of your employees, you need to act.

The Positive Way to Deal with Employee Absenteeism in 7 Steps

Several reasons could make one of your employees absent from work - ill-health, maternity leave, vacation, or running family errands - all these are common in any workplace. However, unscheduled absences from the workplace can negatively impact your business; it can affect your bottom line, morale, finances, and productivity. Even though some random unplanned absences could be a result of sudden circumstances, if you notice a pattern, and absenteeism becomes regular with some of your employees, you need to act.

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Why is Employee Absenteeism a Concern?

Unfortunately, absenteeism in the workplace isn’t rare - in fact, it is a common issue for business owners, particularly during the post-COVID-19 global pandemic. But this doesn’t mean that it wasn’t a problem before the pandemic. 

To prevent the impact of employee absenteeism on the bottom line of your business, you have to create an employee attendance improvement program, clear designing attendance policies, and having a robust solution for tracking and managing employee attendance. 

To succeed with this, you have to address the root cause of absenteeism in your organization, such as uncertain policies, low employee morale, health problems, or time-tracking concerns.

Dealing with Employee Absenteeism

The best way to manage this employee absenteeism is to create a company and culture where your employees want to come to work every day. You can begin by hiring people that are motivated to show up to work every day. 

A self-motivated employee is a person who has a track record of having the internal drive and motivation to start and complete responsibilities. The reason for their drive and motivation isn’t so important. Just be glad that they have something in their character, upbringing, attitude, or training that motivates them to work without any external stimulus.

Some qualities of self-motivated individuals include:
  • They understand their purpose in life and live it
  • They ask for advice when needed
  • Are not scared of taking risks
  • Get involved with all parts of life
  • Have no limits 
  • Take criticism
  • Are enthusiastic about learning something new every day 
  • Believe in themselves and others
  • Don’t easily give up - they can explore all available options 
  • Live healthy lives (physically, spiritually, emotionally, intellectually, and socially)

Questions to Help You Discover Self-Motivated Individuals 

  • What motivates you to come to work every day?
  • Are there outside factors that influence your motivation or ability to complete your tasks by provided deadlines?
  • What gets you excited to work at this organization?
  • What improvements would you make about this business or your duties?
  • What goals have you set for the next 3-5 years? 
  • If you find yourself doing repetitive work, how can you remain motivated to complete it?
  • Which company values align with your values?
  • Have you ever been part of an unmotivated team? How did you remain motivated and make work interesting?
  • Which work environment makes you most productive?

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Steps to an Employee Attendance Improvement Plan

1. Have an employee attendance policy

You should begin by creating a clear employee attendance policy to set the rules for absences from work. Most employees will appreciate clear measures and policies, rather than getting punished.  Disciplinary measures will force them to come to work but will lead to employees not giving their best at work - doing as little as possible, putting in little effort, and getting eager to leave. To make employees present at work, provide options, such as flexible work hours, family care days, and job-sharing. 

2. Have simplified absence requests/approvals

Provide a simple process for employee absence requests and attendance reports, like a simple mobile time clock app. This app makes the clock in/clock out process easier and also lets employees send requests to managers. You’ll be able to see:

  • The person that is clocked in
  • The number of employees that are clocked in
  • The employees that are late and are yet to start their day
  • Those that are absent, and if their requests have been approved
  • Employees that reached their daily work-time limit
  • Who remained overtime
  • The person that requested a day-off and why
3. Keep a track of those that are absent

This is the first step towards improving employee attendance. This information is safely recorded and stored in an employee attendance app, and is readily available for you at any time.  Such apps can help you set automatic time-clock and attendance automatic reports which will send notifications to you every time an employee sends a request.

4. Address the cause of absenteeism, not just the symptoms

Employee absenteeism is a complicated problem; therefore, you can’t only rely on technical solutions that prevent employees from absenting themselves from work.  To get rid of this bad habit among your employees once and for all, address the moral issues your employees might encounter, which causes them to become absent from work.

5. Appreciate your employees

Employee absenteeism could arise when employees feel unappreciated, unnoticed, or disengaged. They feel like their efforts are not noticed, so they decide to rather remain at home.  Have adequate employee recognition programs to motivate employees to show up and put in their best. Congratulate them for personal milestones such as birthdays or anniversaries to reiterate your appreciation. This will mean a lot to them and add to the positive vibe in your team.

6. Improve the morale of your employees 

You can ask your employees the best options for boosting their morale - whether that means setting up positive events such as volunteer days, appreciation days, or investing in training programs. Training and development are among the most effective ways of raising employee morale.  

At times, despite all our efforts, some employees will still miss work repeatedly. When this happens, consider taking disciplinary or legal actions to minimize your risks and losses. Ensure that you check up on those people as soon as you notice this trend. Begin with an informal chat to find out what’s happening and how you could be of assistance.

Final Words

Employee absenteeism is a major concern for many businesses, from local small restaurant businesses to international enterprises; however, the cause is always the same - it happens when employees are not happy or lack motivation. Reducing absenteeism within your organization is important and may have surprising effects on your revenues. Before you implement any of the measures listed above, you must know the reasons behind absenteeism in your company and address that problem.

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