Absenteeism is common in workplaces and affects productivity when employees stay away from work for no precise reason.
The increase in absenteeism in the workplace results in a distraction and prevents them from meeting organizational outcomes. It is essential to reduce absenteeism in the workplace.
When workers are present and remain focused on their respective jobs, the workflow is smooth. Absenteeism affects both employers and employees and the overall functioning of a company or an organization.
Every organization needs to detect why employees are absent and require tips to keep employees motivated, reducing absenteeism.
Absenteeism – Meaning
Absenteeism refers to when employees remain absent from work with unimportant reasons to escape the office.
The reasons for absence can extend from extra days for vacation, lack of work-life balance, or even illness.
Due to absenteeism, employees are unable to work productively under flexible schedules. The companies have leave policies that provide necessary breaks to the employees for personal or travel reasons.
Effects of Absenteeism at Workplace
Absenteeism, in general, is one of the factors that leads an organization toward downfall. Not a single organization can run without the dedication and hard work of the employees.
When employees remain absent and neglect their duties, it affects both employees and employers. Let’s check how
Effects of Absenteeism on Employers
In the absence of a member in a team, the whole teamwork may halt until the member returns. Absenteeism leads to the stopping of workflow, and meeting the deadline is next to impossible.
The absence of one member affects the whole team and its members, so absence management is essential.
Some effects of absenteeism on employers are:
- Reduced productivity levels and incomplete project processes are there due to employees’ absence for a long time.
- In hiring the new employees to replace the absent, the administrative cost is high, providing for both employees who work for the same purpose.
- When employees are not present, understaffing and employee retention are a problem.
- The absence of a member can trigger other members to remain absent, and when the other members take up the work of the employee absent, this may lead to employee burnout due to lack of employee engagement.
Effects of Absenteeism on Employees
Absenteeism affects employees with an extended absence period as it puts a break in an employee’s career development within a flexible schedule.
There are disturbances in workflow, and the employees forget work and lack zeal to perform as they did before.
Some effects of absenteeism on employees are:
- Employees lose payment for the time they are absent.
- If they cannot get back to the same speed of work they once worked, then there is a chance they miss deadlines for tasks.
- When an employee is lost and unable to provide logical reasons for absence, they may face termination and end up losing their job permanently.
Some Tips to Reduce Absenteeism in the Workplace
As absenteeism distorts the working culture, employers need tips and ways by which they can reduce workplace absenteeism.
There are several things to remember, and the key lies in finding the actual cause for the employees’ remaining absent, followed by rewarding and leave policy and flexibility. Some tips to reduce absenteeism at work are:
Determine the Reasons for Absenteeism
The foremost step is finding the reasons for employees’ absence in an office. This situation is possible when you ask your employee about their absence.
The reason they present in front of you may be unreal, with the actual reason hiding behind it. Some causes of employee disturbances include:
- The members in a team may not behave appropriately with a particular member who is a victim of bullying and harassment. This situation may be one of the reasons why an employee remains absent for a long time.
- Employee burnout and work overload are possible reasons for employees to skip work.
- Personal reasons like staying home to look after a kid or an elderly may compel employees to remain absent.
- Employees may skip work due to critical illness or mental illness.
All the reasons mentioned above are examples of a common reason, but the actual reason finding is possible when you talk to the employee and ask about workplace wellness. They express their views on the excuse of quitting work temporarily.
Clear Attendance Policy
The attendance policy of your office needs a proper definition, and you must explain the procedure to your team members and track employees.
Daily attendance is possible by manually entering time on paper or using time tracking applications to ensure that the working hours—time and attendance software provides data for absenteeism analysis.
An attendance policy must clarify the total work hours in a day and how long an employee can remain absent.
Some employees may skip work due to a lack of understanding of the attendance system, and employers can seek answerability when employees remain absent for long.
Engagement of Employees
The zeal, enthusiasm, or interest of an employee to conduct work is employee engagement. When employees remain engaged, there are fewer chances of absenteeism in the workplace.
Ensure the leader and other team members are connected to understand and discuss work material and reduce productivity.
In remote work, communication among members may not be possible, and employees are not engaged.
With proper skill development programs and team-building games, the employees stay interested. You can help employees retain them in the office for longer, helping develop their careers.
Employee Wellness and Wellbeing
Employee wellness ensures the proper health of an employee. When all officials adopt a healthy lifestyle, everyone is less likely to get sick. If employees fall sick less, they automatically remain present for work reducing absenteeism.
The wellness programs include discussion sessions to advise employees to manage stress. Medical checkups help employees know of the present state of health.
Employee wellbeing includes a good employee life with productivity in the office, which is another way to reduce absenteeism.
The leave policy is another essential point to remember while reducing absenteeism. From the onboarding phase in an office, it is crucial to explain to the employees about the leave-related policies.
When the leave policy is clear, absenteeism decreases. Some things to remember in the leave policy are:
- Total holiday and annual leaves available.
- Permission for applying for leave.
- Conditions for paid and unpaid leave granted.
- Consequences after applying for too much leave in a year.
Flexibility at Work
When office work is too demanding, the employees cannot figure out the personal stuff after work hours. The flexibility and ease at work enable workers to continue the same job for longer hours.
When the office or the team is not flexible, workers don’t know what to do except for daily work. Flexibility at work brings out innovation and new ideas to conduct the same job differently but with better benefits and absence management solutions.
Working under the same team doesn’t mean every employee has the same thought process, and having a different perception may lead an employee to remain absent.
When team members share the same thoughts and work for similar goals, they work in harmony, and team cohesion improves employee engagement.
In lack of team cohesion, the left out members may quit coming to office. Some employees may feel unwanted in the office and feel it’s better to stay at home. With the inclusion of all members and acceptance of each member’s hard work, absenteeism decreases.
Rewarding Good Attendance
Employees who report early and work proficiently demand recognition and rewards from respective departments.
In the office, when you reward an employee for outstanding performance, they feel encouraged, and at the same time, other employees envy the rewarded ones.
The healthy competition among members in an office gives strength to other members to report on time and remain present daily.
Rewarding different employees for different titles make EOR (Employee Organization Relationships) stronger, reducing absenteeism.
A remote office is diverse and includes people from different nations and continents. Every member doesn’t need to come from the same culture, but what binds each employee is the organizational culture and how every member behaves and interacts with each other.
The organizational culture must include all types of people and keep aside racism or discrimination. The rules must sue those who discriminate or work against the rules and regulations.
When the organizational culture is proper and inclusive, every member can be themselves and not remain absent.
Improved Work Environment
The physical work environment directly relates to the employees’ health in onsite offices. When the office environment is gloomy and unhygienic, it is evident that office attendees will fall sick. It is essential to maintain workplace wellness.
When the interior designs of an office are proper, employees wish to return to the office and work better. In a peaceful work environment, the workers lack enthusiasm and remain absent due to health issues.
The strengthening of Employee Organization Relationships is possible when there is a healthy exchange of feedback from employees and employers.
The feedback sessions provide chances for improvement and betterment for the whole organization and a sense of belonging.
The absenteeism rates are measurable with different surveys, and you can analyze why employees are absent at a particular time in a year or so.
With the employer’s feedback, the employees improve their habits and performance. At the same time, employee feedback helps with office wellbeing and employee retention.
Attendance with Tracking Tools
For systematizing the process of taking attendance daily, time tracking tools provide help for automatic time tracking with attendance taking of the employees.
The tools simplify the traditional attendance method by fingerprint or paper-based attendance.
The time tracking tools also measure productivity, and you can know the patterns of an employee from the analysis and is one of the absence management solutions.
When employees remain absent, you can see who is missing for the day and notice the leaves through the time tracking tools.
Support from Employers
Employees don’t need to return to work after an emotional breakdown, family emergency, or accident. It is the right of every employee to take leaves during hard times, and employers’ organizations must support employees during such times.
Employers must support their employees during difficult times and provide what is necessary for their development.
Employees need help and support from their employers during health emergencies and disasters. It is inappropriate for employers to complain about an employee’s absence amid a crisis.
Considerations from Organizations
An organization holds the responsibility of taking care of the employees and assisting them when they need help. The assistant program for employees is a great way to show them respect and support.
Some situations to consider in the case of employees include childcare and elderly care, helping the ones financially, and giving time for divorcees.
Others include seeking help during conflict and counseling for physical and mental health. Providing such benefits helps the individuals cope with personal problems and family emergencies so they do not remain absent.
Incentives and Outings
Employees follow a monotonous daily routine, and some remain absent out of boredom. The office can facilitate seminars and other programs, including the third party members from another office, to help employees grow professionally.
Time outside the work hours is perfect for arranging outings for the employees. The hiking or other activities help employees bond and refresh their minds to come to work with a fresh approach the following day. Outings help in reducing absenteeism.
Other Factors Affecting Absenteeism in the Workplace
There are many reasons why your employees may act weird in the office and then disappear for a few days again and again. Some other things and factors to consider in workplace absenteeism are:
Lack of Positivity in Work
When negative influences are present in an office, the members get demotivated. In the absence of constructive work, the employees seek guidance and support from the office members. Every member should work positively for better outcomes and provide feedback.
Feeble Job Commitment
It depends on the employee’s determination to work for a defined career path. When employees are not self-motivated, they lack work commitment and remain absent.
Lazy employees seek lame reasons to stay away from work, and the track of employees is lost.
Sometimes, employees are overloaded and cannot bear the pressure and micro stress. In such a situation, they remain absent rather than express themselves to escape the job.
When the leader or project manager divides tasks unevenly, the employees are stressed. Paid sick leaves are good options to encourage employees.
Every employee seeks a sense of belonging with rewards and recognition in the workplace. Employers need to ensure employees’ health and wellbeing. As mentioned in the points above, there are various ways to improve employee presence in the office.
Officials must come up with absence management solutions to reduce employees’ absenteeism. People managing the workforce need shift management for a better workflow.
Bhuwan Dahal leads timeTracko’s SEO team as its SEO manager. The SEO industry has been his focus for almost four years, and he has a strong focus on SAAS products and eCommerce.