Excessive absenteeism costs companies direct wages, overtime pay, and recruiting costs. It can also lead to decreased productivity, poorer quality work, and employee burnout.
First, talk to the employee to understand what is causing their excessive absences. This is an excellent time to discuss your company’s attendance policy and remind them that continued issues could result in disciplinary action.
Identifying Absenteeism Issues
When employees miss work excessively, it hurts the company in various ways. The most obvious cost is the lost wages of the absent employee and any overtime costs incurred by team members filling in for them. Indirect costs can include lower-quality work, delays in the delivery of products or services, higher management time spent handling absence-related issues, and a loss of team morale among those who are covering for their colleagues’ absences.
It’s common for employees to take days off occasionally, whether due to a sick child, a doctor’s appointment, or an event. However, absenteeism can become an issue if the employee takes fewer days off or the absences increase.
Frequent absences can disrupt workplace operations, impact productivity, and create burdens for colleagues. To address this challenge, many businesses implement excessive absenteeism policies that outline clear expectations for employee attendance and define the consequences of exceeding those expectations. At the same time, the specific threshold for what constitutes excessive absenteeism may vary across companies.
By implementing a well-defined and comprehensive excessive absenteeism policy, businesses can promote a culture of accountability, ensure smooth operations, and ultimately create a more productive and positive work environment for all.
When these criteria are met, it’s time to sit with the employee and discuss their attendance. It’s important not to let the issue linger, as it will only worsen over time. The most effective strategy for addressing absenteeism is to start from the top and focus on creating a workplace culture and conditions that foster loyalty and commitment in your team members.
When an employee abuses the company’s vacation or sick leave policies, it’s time to sit down and talk with them about their excessive absenteeism. However, you need to have clear documentation that they’re putting their team or company at risk. An easy-to-use, centralized attendance tracking system like TeamSense can make it easy to keep documentation of all unexcused absences for these conversations.
When determining what’s considered excessive, every company is different. But a good rule of thumb is three or more unexcused occurrences in 90 days. Monitoring staff absences on a monthly or quarterly basis is also advised since it can assist you in seeing patterns and trends.
Lastly, it would help if you addressed employee absences right away when they occur. Letting the issue get out of hand for months on end can only do more harm to your company culture, as other employees may resent having to cover for an employee who is frequently missing work.
A clear attendance policy defining excessive absences can help you reduce employee absenteeism and create a more productive, engaged workforce. However, the root causes of employee absenteeism are complex and vary by individual. Sometimes, improving working conditions and creating a more flexible work-life balance reduces the need for workers to miss time from the office.
Addressing Absenteeism Issues
When someone is absent regularly, it impacts more than just that employee. Co-workers who have to cover their shifts can experience reduced productivity and resent the individual taking too much time off. For a business, it can result in lost revenue because fewer people are available to complete customer-facing activities. If an employee’s absences are excessive, the company can move forward with disciplinary actions like demotion or termination.
Of course, there are legitimate reasons for employees to miss work occasionally. Some situations require an exception, whether due to a family emergency or the need to attend medical appointments. This is why many companies have attendance policies that only count unexcused absences towards their excessive absentee threshold.
For any employee consistently missing work, it’s essential to have a conversation with them as soon as possible. You can use this opportunity to discuss any issues contributing to their absences, but keep the discussion in a non-disciplinary tone and stick to the facts of their situation. This is also an excellent opportunity to ask if they are feeling well and if there is anything you can do to support them at work. You can also remind them that their absences impact the team and the company.
The first step in managing absenteeism is to address the underlying issue. This may include reviewing the employee’s attendance history to ensure they are sick, or it might mean looking at the work environment and making changes to reduce recurring absences. For example, instituting a “no-excuse” policy that outlines the consequences of excessive absences could be an effective deterrent.
In other cases, it might be necessary to consider alternative work arrangements or job redesign. This can give workers the flexibility that many hourly workers like while keeping them motivated and engaged.
For some people, excessive absenteeism can be caused by family responsibilities. Caring for elderly or ill family members, child care, and transportation issues can all contribute to chronic absenteeism. Addressing these issues by implementing family-friendly policies and providing flexible schedules can help to alleviate this problem.
Whatever the underlying issue, dealing with any problems quickly is essential. This means being consistent when dealing with disciplinary action and not showing favoritism to upper management or entry-level employees. It also means transparency about the company’s policies and ensuring employees know their rights and responsibilities. This will build trust and inspire integrity among your team.