Workplace absences represent lost productivity and revenue. A small business can only function as well as its employees. The cost of unchecked absenteeism is high, not only for the employee absent but also for those left behind, not to mention your business’s bottom line. Luckily, there are a number of things that you can do to try and reduce the absence rate in the workplace; let’s dive into it.
Develop An Attendance Policy
The first thing that you need to do is create a company attendance policy. Come up with a set of rules that are geared towards reducing absences and increasing productivity. Next, you need to outline your expectations and instructions regarding absence processes. For example, how are absences to be reported and recorded? At what point will a high absence rate result in consequences like disciplinaries? When will they need a sick note? Do you want to implement a return-to-work process after an absence?
Implement An Employee Wellness Programme
Find ways to promote health and wellness in the workplace. Think about some strategies to take care of your employee’s mental and physical health. In addition to helping them to improve their health – thereby reducing absences – it also lets your employees know that you care about them. This improves morale and, in turn, promotes more trust and loyalty in employees. Wellness programs consist of strategies that you choose. For example, you could opt to develop a cycle to work scheme, thus improving your employee’s physical fitness. Or you could include more breaks into the workday; this helps your employees to manage their stress throughout the day and avoid getting overwhelmed or feeling burnt out.
Improve Employee Motivation
Motivation is what fuels the efforts of your employees. Without it, they become complacent, and productivity goes down. Try to come up with ways to motivate your employees. Think about a few incentives like a bonus that you could put in place. When your employees want to be at work, absenteeism is reduced.
Consider Offering Flexible Working Hours
Sometimes things outside of your employees’ control can lead to absences. This is because they have other responsibilities and duties to perform. For example, if they have children, then taking care of their dependents will come first, and this can lead to absences. In order to avoid this, you might want to think about implementing flexible working hours. Allow your employees to create their own schedules as long as they are fulfilling their contract requirements. You could also offer them a chance to work remotely should they need to stay at home occasionally. This can significantly reduce absenteeism. You are also more likely to retain employees by pre-empting their needs and showing them that you can adapt to them.
Include Attendance In Employee Evaluations
Again, there are some absences which are out of your employees’ control, and this isn’t to suggest that you penalise them for this. However, it does provide you with a great opportunity to address your concerns in this area. You can take this time to privately connect with them to see whether there are any issues contributing to their absences. You won’t always be able to rectify them, but simply listening to your employees can make them feel supported and increase morale. Remember to consider the way that you deliver this feedback to them. It is less about blame and accusations and more about constructive criticism.
Use Absence Management Software
How do you expect to reduce absences if you aren’t able to monitor them properly? To do this, you need to invest in a decent HR management system. For example, myhrtoolkit has an absence management software feature, in addition to other features like holiday booking and tracking or training management. It is designed to make your HR manager’s life easier by consolidating all of the information into one area that can be easily accessed and used to draw conclusions.
Prioritise Employee Engagement
You can come up with a number of ways to essentially bribe your employees to come to work by improving employee engagement! For example, you could implement an ’employee of the month’ program. Set up the criteria and the rules, and remember to offer a reward. Perhaps the employee of the month gets an extra half-day off paid that month, or perhaps they get a voucher of some description.
You shouldn’t limit your feedback to your employees’ performance reviews. Providing feedback, both positive and (constructively) negative, can help to keep your employees motivated and engaged. In addition to delivering feedback to them, you should also look for opportunities to seek out feedback from them too. You can then adjust your management strategies accordingly.
Hosting get-togethers outside of work can help to improve your workplace culture by bonding the team further. Look for reasons to celebrate both inside and outside of work. Not all of your employees will want to attend extra-curricular activities, but for those that do, it can really help to make them feel more engaged. On a smaller scale, you can show your appreciation for your employees by making an effort to celebrate their personal milestones.
Finally, you may want to develop a mentorship program too. If you often take on new employees or if you like to promote within, then this is important. Your employees can benefit from a shared knowledge. They get to learn more about their roles and the best way to approach tasks. You can float it out as an idea to gauge interest before developing the program further. You need to get a good mix of interest from both potential mentors and mentees.
Revamp The Benefit Package
In addition to the salary that you offer staff, you need to think about the additional benefits that you are offering them. Having a better employee compensation package can go a long way in reducing employee absenteeism. This is done by reducing employee turnover as a whole in addition to improving morale, driving engagement, and boosting performance and productivity. To put it simply, if your staff are happy, then they are much more likely to turn up day after day ready to work and put the effort in. The benefits package goes a long way in motivating staff as well as communicating your appreciation of them.
Take the time to design a compensation package for your staff. You first need to think about your capabilities and the money that you have available to dedicate to this package. Next, you can ask for input from employees. Listen to their ideas or the things that they think are important. Then you need to come up with a package that addresses their wants and needs while also taking into account your resources. Once you have done this, you need to outline this package in a compensation policy that needs distributing to all of the employees.
Employees are human, and the truth is that there is no way to eradicate absences completely; people are going to get injured or ill. However, using the tips above, you can reduce the rate of absenteeism within your workforce by eliminating the needless and unnecessary absences. You should always promote a healthy work-life balance, so make sure to lead by example.