Five Practices Employers Can Use to Tackle Absenteeism
Employee absences can mean huge costs for businesses in terms of lost productivity and company morale – not to mention the costs of having to train and pay temporary workers when an absence is extended. Despite this, many employers are at a loss of how to tackle the problem of employee absenteeism. The good news is that some of the most effective ways to deal with absenteeism are also some of the simplest.
Here are our top 5 strategies for employers to reduce absenteeism in their companies:
- Keep track of employee absences.
The first step to tackling absenteeism is to track it. There are a number of software programs that allow you to do this – or if you have a smaller staff, it can even be done with an Excel spreadsheet. Tracking absences allows you to identify trends and address problem areas before they become worse.
- Implement a wellness program.
Healthier employees have fewer absences. If employees are encouraged to adopt healthier habits, it can lead to them having less stress and better overall health. Employee wellness programs will vary depending on the size or your staff and available budget, but they can include things like offering healthy snacks, lunch and learns, company walking clubs or even offering free or discounted gym memberships.
- Help employees return to work.
When an employee has had an extended absence due to an illness or injury, there can be a lot of anxiety around returning to work and this anxiety can cause them to stay away longer than they need to. Having an effective return to work program is a huge benefit to both the company and the employee. A return to work program should include processes like keeping up regular communication with the employee while they are off work; making sure they feel welcome when they return to work, and offering reasonable accommodations and adjusted work duties if necessary.
- Reduce workplace stress.
Stress in the workplace is not only mentally tiring but it can impact an employee’s physical health as well. Taking steps to reduce stress in the workplace can result in fewer absences. In addition to taking steps to reduce stress, consider offering employees tools to deal with stress through workshops or Employee Assistance Programs.
- Offer generous paid vacation time.
While some employees may see it as a badge of honour that they never take their vacation time, this is really a very unhealthy habit. Having sufficient vacation time allows employees to reduce their level of stress and come back to the workplace refreshed and recharged. There have also been a number of studies demonstrating the effect that vacations have on employee health and wellness.
When employees have more opportunity for planned absences (vacation), it may reduce their need for unplanned absences and employers can more easily work this into their operating budgets.
Would you like help addressing absenteeism in your company? Contact TeksMed today for a consultation.