Employee absenteeism is a big problem for businesses small to large. When employees miss work, it can throw off productivity and the function of the entire workplace. It’s expensive, and it’s becoming increasingly difficult for businesses to manage these costs.
Recently a study showed that unscheduled employee absenteeism has risen to some of the highest levels in nearly 20 years, but what can employers do?
It’s easy to feel helpless as an employer, but there steps that can be taken to reduce and combat employees missing work.
Encourage Employees To Be Proactive with Their Health
It’s going to be less expensive in the long-run to encourage your employees to be proactive with their healthcare, as opposed to having unhealthy employees that miss a lot of work.
A good way to help encourage your employees to be healthier without spending money is to enroll in a program like SingleCare. SingleCare is a prescription and healthcare discount program, and it costs employers nothing to participate. Then, employees can save money on prescriptions, essential services and even video visits with doctors, so they’re less likely to let a health concern go so long without treatment that it becomes even more problematic.
There are also other wellness programs that businesses can put in place, ranging from options to help them stop smoking and lose weight, to programs that encourage employees to exercise more to receive workplace incentives and recognition.
Reward Good Attendance
Rather than focusing on the consequences of bad attendance, sometimes it can be more useful to recognize and reward good attendance. Employees do have protections when it comes to taking time off, and employers may find themselves in hot water if they penalize their staff for taking time off, so a better approach can be positive reinforcement.
Look At Management
Sometimes excessive absenteeism isn’t the result of employees who don’t care. Instead, it can be the result of bad or ill-trained management so as a business owner you might want to look at management and supervisors first.
Maybe supervisors aren’t clearly communicating policies or expectations, or maybe they’re inconsistent in how they hold employees accountable for their absences.
There may also be problems with how supervisors are managing employees which are creating a toxic environment contributing to higher rates of absenteeism.
Supervisors need to be well-trained and knowledgeable in all policies and procedures with regard to absences. They should also make sure they keep detailed records and are equipped to spot and report potentially problematic or concerning patterns.
Consider Flexibility in Scheduling
Finally, sometimes employees are missing work because they have to, or because they’re experiencing burnout and both of these can be tackled by offering flexible scheduling or remote work options. If you have a great employee who is missing work because they have a sick child, as an example, by offering the option of working from home occasionally, you are still getting value from the employee, but they don’t have to come into the office.
Being flexible in scheduling and work environments can go a long way to help reduce absenteeism but keep productivity high.