Absenteeism is something of a fact of life in most businesses. Things happen. People will get sick. Inclement weather or car troubles will prevent someone from arriving to work. Doctor’s appointments, meetings with financial advisors, and sick children all contribute to absenteeism.
Absenteeism becomes an issue when a large number of your employees are taking time off. While some absences from work are to be expected and are unavoidable, absenteeism can be a more pervasive problem in the workplace. In many cases, it has an underlying cause, such as employee disengagement.
If absenteeism has been rising in your business, consider the following tactics aimed at reducing it.
1. Emphasize Teamwork
People are likely to reduce the amount of time they take off if they feel other people are relying on them. While encouraging and emphasizing teamwork is a tactic that must be employed judiciously, it’s also a powerful tactic for reducing absenteeism.
Why does it work so well? People like to feel they’re needed and valuable. When a team emphasizes how important someone’s contribution to the team is, that person will place more importance on being present. They don’t want to let the team down. In turn, they’ll consider their absences more carefully, and they may even reduce them.
2. Introduce Employee Self-Service
When employees can control their own calendars, they’re more likely to manage their absences carefully. You might have thought this move would have the opposite effect, but allowing employees to see how much time off they’ve accrued and how much they’ve already used can encourage them to be more judicious.
If your HR staff controls the calendar, an employee may not even realize how many days off they’ve taken. Many employees underestimate how much time they’ve had off. This isn’t intentional but more an effect of misremembering.
When an employee has to enter the absences themselves and can look at the calendar at any point in time, this information is more immediate and tangible. They may express shock at how much time they’ve taken. They may even feel more motivated to reduce the amount of time they take off.
3. Offer Flex Time
It seems, every day, people’s busy lives get even busier. Even with technology designed to make tasks easier and less laborious, it often seems there’s just more to do. This applies as much to your office as it does to an employee’s life outside of work.
Flex time can be one way to get around this. Instead of forcing employees to take days off when they need to leave the office early for an appointment, flex time will allow them to reschedule their shifts to fit their busy lives. Flex time is perhaps one of the most powerful tools to reduce absenteeism.
4. Create a Positive Environment
Sometimes, your employees disengage and take more time off because they find the office environment unbearable. Consider your corporate culture. What kind of working environment do you cultivate?
Small adjustments can improve the working environment and make it a more engaging, pleasant place to be.
Consider these tips to reduce absenteeism in your business. They’re easily adopted and employed, and they can help you work toward a better attendance track record for your employees.