Can We Talk About Absenteeism?

Unscheduled absenteeism is a problem in some workplaces. It has many root causes, but it triggers so many other problems.

  • Lower customer satisfaction (in a service industry)
  • Lower productivity
  • Higher costs (paying for PTO or not, many times the people that cover may be overtime or excess workforce you keep in case)
  • Lower morale of those attending work
  • More headaches for the supervisor or manager

The list doesn’t end there, but those are some major consequences.

Showing up to do a job sometimes is half the job. After all, if the person is not present, it’s hard for them to do the work. Here are the two methods that I find most effective to shore up attendance. I would suggest using them together for best results.

  1. Have a heart-to-heart with the employees who are absent the most. Let them know that you care about their health, but you need to ensure their attendance. Some cases may qualify for FMLA, so be prepared to discuss their options with them. Above all, ask them for their help in increasing their reliability by being absent less often.
  2. In accordance with the HR policies in place, be prepared to enforce the attendance guidelines. While some of these people may perform well when they are there, they are also causing many other problems by their excessive absenteeism. The enforcement of the policy should be fair and equitable. In other words, what’s good for your bottom performer is good for your top performer.

In the end, you may lose an employee to excessive absenteeism. However, by making the policy clear to all, by expressing your concern for their health, and by enforcing the policy, absenteeism will decrease. Chances are, you will see the following effects, too:

  • Better customer satisfaction
  • Higher productivity
  • Lower payroll costs
  • Higher morale for all
  • Less stress for you

Please take a moment to leave a comment, suggestion, or recommendation for another topic that may help you. Also, please follow me on Twitter, Google+, or Facebook.

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Author: Joe Croarkin

Husband, father of three, brother of four

2 thoughts on “Can We Talk About Absenteeism?”

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