No business can function without its staff; it owes its success or failures to the workforce. Absenteeism is often a scourge to employers, and rightly so; it wastes company resources, and it can have effects on the rest of the staff too. As an employer, it is easy to feel powerless when it comes to employee absences, but learning more about the causes can help you to develop strategies that discourage absenteeism and support your staff, keep reading to learn more.
There are several causes of absenteeism, ranging from genuine to not-so-genuine. On the genuine side of things: illness, injury, and mental health issues like burn out can lead to absenteeism. In all honesty, there is very little that you can do to reduce this form of absence; however, the policies that you have in place may be exacerbating this, especially if you do not have policies in place that support your staff both mentally and physically.
The other, less genuine reasons behind absenteeism are all to do with the workplace or the job role. A lack or unwillingness to be flexible on your part could be inadvertently encouraging your staff to resort to absenteeism. Your staff will have other responsibilities that may take priority, and sometimes they won’t be able to work fit these around their job, and therefore they take time off.
Absenteeism can also be caused by a hostile work environment. If they are unhappy or uncomfortable in the workplace for whatever reason, then they are obviously far more likely to play truant. Finally, low levels of engagement and job satisfaction can also be a contributing factor to absenteeism. Employees don’t feel fulfilled and have little interest in their jobs. As a result, they tend to take more time off; they might even then use this time off to look for employment elsewhere.
While it is almost impossible to completely eradicate absenteeism, you can do your part to reduce it in the workplace. The best thing that you can do is to look for ways to ensure that your staff feel supported. There are a number of ways that you can do this. Firstly, you should do your best to impress upon your staff the importance of taking their mental health seriously.
Developing the right company culture can help; it encourages your employees to speak up when they are struggling. You can then make sure that they have the help that they need, and they can continue to work. The same goes for your staff with other responsibilities. Being flexible in your approach to work can help to protect productivity regardless of your staff’s working hours.
Finally, you should think about your absence policies. For example, how do the staff need to communicate their absences to you, and when do you require supporting documents? You might want to look into HR consultancy services like Citation, which can provide you with tools like absence trackers as well as advice on the number of HR issues that absenteeism can contribute to.
High levels of absenteeism can have an enormous effect on your business, from loss of revenue to creating dissent amongst the remaining staff. Eliminating absenteeism in its entirety is unrealistic; however, reducing it is deceptively straightforward. Think about how you can communicate your employee’s value to them and make them feel supported. This can go a long way in reducing the rate of absences in your staff.