Employee absenteeism can cause a lot of problems in any business. It makes fulfilling obligations and orders difficult and slows down every department, causing delays and work to pile up. In some cases, employees that are no-shows never call, and some that do call will use a fake illness as an excuse. Because of productivity losses, employers need effective ways of reducing employee absenteeism.
Create an Employee Attendance Policy and Inform Them
Employees need to have clear expectations of what is acceptable and what is not in the ways of attendance. The policy needs to be in writing and shown to each employee when they start or immediately after it is created. It needs to include as many scenarios of absenteeism as possible, such as absences that are not scheduled, no-shows, tardiness, scheduled absences, and more. This will require accurate record-keeping. You also need to decide in advance what the penalties will be in each case – but leniency may need to be given in some circumstances. There needs to be a limit for unplanned absences before they are released from employment.
After showing it to your employees, have them sign it saying that they have read and understood it. This will help to eliminate future problems. Each employee should know who to call when they will be late or absent. The policy should apply to both employees and managers. When disciplinary action is required, you must be consistent in applying the prescribed penalty to make it work.
Consider Flexible Work Hours
Where possible, give your employees the option to choose what shift they want to work. You may even allow them to choose the hours they work. This type of work situation is becoming more popular today and may help an employee stay committed to showing up for work on time.
Another option would be to allow them to work from home. In a day when the pandemic is on everyone’s mind, many may only look for this type of work. It is especially true for people who are responsible for taking care of children or aging parents.
Ensure a Healthy Work Environment
Some employees will develop attendance problems if there are unsolved problems in the workplace. They may experience bullying, sexual harassment, rejection, or other problems. When these exist, it will also affect the performance of the group.
These types of problems may stem from managers not being consistent, showing favoritism, or having a lack of training. Management goals may also be unclear or they may not know how to communicate well apart from giving orders. In that case, the managers may need training – or be replaced to help create a better environment.
Reward Faithful Employees
Feedback needs to be given to employees so that each one knows where he or she stands in the eyes of the company and its managers. Praise is essential for employees to be satisfied that they are doing a good job and with their employment. Where there is little or no feedback, they may not stay long. Rewards, such as a bonus, could be given yearly for good attendance records.
Provide Support When Needed
There will be times when employees experience real difficulties. Some measure of support should be given to help them get through these periods. By showing genuine concern when needed, loyalty and commitment will increase.
If health issues are commonly used as excuses for employee absenteeism, you may need to start an employee wellness program. Other programs can be used which can help to reduce stress – if that is an issue.