The contribution and presence of every team member is crucial for the success of a project or overall performance. As a result, the absenteeism of any employee often emerges as a big downside and harms the productivity and morale of the workspace.
In such a situation, employers need to identify the root cause of absenteeism and find a solution that benefits the whole team.
If you have been looking for effective ways to reduce employee absenteeism in your workplace, here’s your cue! But before we look at some practical strategies to take care of the lag, let’s dive into the root of absenteeism in the workforce first.
Read along to find more.
Absenteeism: Root Causes and Associated Ills ☹️
Did you know employee absenteeism amounts to a loss of $3600 yearly/employee paid hourly? Similarly, businesses lose $2650 yearly for each of their salaried employees who consistently miss work.
Besides affecting the productivity and profitability of a venture, absenteeism from work affects businesses by delaying the set deadline and/or adding pressure during the busy season.
Employee absenteeism is defined as a continuous or habitual absence from the office. Some may see it as a sign of lack of interest or disengagement. Typically, there can be several reasons why employees go MIA from their work frequently. However, some of the most common across industries include:
➡️ Injury or chronic illness
➡️ Job hunting
➡️ Unavoidable family emergency
➡️ Mental illness
➡️ Inflexible work schedule or structure
➡️ Lack of motivation
➡️ Toxic work environment
Collectively, these factors often weigh down on employees and lower the productivity of a work environment. To tackle these slowdowns, you need to keep effective and foolproof strategies handy and implement them as needed.
Top 7 Strategies to Lower Absenteeism In the Workplace
If you are an entrepreneur looking for a solution to reduce employee absenteeism, make sure to keep these strategies handy:
👉 1. Develop a clear and easy to follow attendance policy
As an employer, you must create a fair policy and communicate clear expectations to your employees. It would be best if you considered presenting guidelines about the repercussions of repeated absenteeism and how the same will not be tolerated . Being transparent about this policy from the beginning will create open communication between you and your employees. Including this policy in employment contracts is a great way to start this dialogue.
👉 2. Plan a wellness program
Poor mental and physical health are among the major causes of being absent from the workplace. While it is impossible to control the health and wellness of your employees, as an employer, you can try to promote better wellness among employees by implementing wellbeing programs and health camps.
Pro tip: Set up annual or semi-annual health camps and retreats for employees to unwind and recuperate.
👉 3. Recognize and eliminate work-induced stress
Stress can weigh down even the most active and productive minds and cause intense burnout. To avoid that, offer ample breaks to employees and encourage them to be active during work hours instead of just sitting cooped up at their desks.
Pro tip: Dedicate short intervals in a day for stretching and breaks to help employees process and shoulder stress better.
👉 4. Motivate and encourage employees
A fun and positive work environment makes tasks enjoyable and keeps employees motivated for a long time. In addition, rewards, training, opportunities to upskill, and personal development courses can encourage employees to perform well and stay motivated.
Pro tip: Introduce performance-driven strategies such as – an employee of the month to show appreciation and boost motivation among workers.
👉 5. Promote a flexible work environment
A flexible work schedule and offering a hybrid work model is a great way to increase employee engagement and lower absenteeism. With the increase in popularity of online meeting rooms and apps such as Zoom, Teams, and Google Meet, flexible work schedules and remote environments are easier to track and manage. You can leverage these advancements to offer a better working experience to your employees.
Pro tip: Prioritize the work-life balance of employees. Allow them to take early leaves on the last working day of the week or introduce the concept of hybrid work into their work schedule.
👉 6. Offer timely feedback and show appreciation
The best way to make employees feel valued and keep them motivated towards their work is through open appreciation and feedback. While rewarding hardworking and outstanding employees could keep the workforce motivated, it does not really help solve the problem of absenteeism if they constantly feel underappreciated or not heard. Therefore, provide timely feedback to employees to help them improve and show appreciation every time they achieve an outstanding accomplishment to keep them engaged and in sync with the team.
Pro tip: Recognize hard work and effort through rewards, shoutouts, and kind gestures. Involve the team in several team-building exercises to keep employees feeling involved and included.
👉7. Reward good attendance
This strategy is simple, but highly effective in motivating employees through positive reinforcement. In addition, rewarding good attendance through cash or gifts may add a breath of fresh air to the work environment and convey a message to employees that their presence in the team is valued.
Pro tip: Offer paid leaves, passes to special events, or cash prizes to employees with full or highest attendance to keep them engaged and motivated.
In addition to these 7 strategies, you can conduct anonymous surveys in the office to identify the prevalent reasons behind absenteeism. That will help you develop suitable solutions and reduce employee absenteeism significantly.