Absenteeism in the workplace is bad. Read on for ways of curbing employee absenteeism and make your life easier.

Employee Absenteeism

“Office? Not Again!” Now that is an undesirable employee response from a manager’s angle. As a manager, you would want employees to be more hunky-dory about the whole office thing. However, despite your expectations, the inevitable happens. Your employees take unannounced leaves, report late for work on various grounds, and sometimes quit unceremoniously. And where does that leave you? Wondering what went wrong! Welcome to the hell called “employee absenteeism”. Regular absenteeism is not just an excuse that the foreman gives you to save his job, it is a fact. Absenteeism worldwide has risen steeply and shows no signs of relenting on its own. However, on closer scrutiny you’ll realise that this is not exactly a desired state of affairs for your employees as well. Absenteeism arises out of dissatisfaction and grows into depression. With a little bit of patience, you’ll not only understand it but also gain enough insights to curb it.

Absenteeism In The Workplace

Causes Of Absenteeism
People miss work for a lot of reasons. Some may have genuine reasons while others may just be evading work. It depends upon the management to look into the genuineness of the reasons mentioned for missing work. These reasons can be clubbed as those which are controllable by organizational policies and those uncontrollable.
Uncontrollable Reasons Of Absenteeism
  • Serious personal accidents and illness.
  • Family responsibilities.
  • Personal responsibilities or commitments.
  • Poor physical fitness.
  • Other health issues like pregnancies etc. 
Controllable Reasons
  • Stress for various reasons like too much competition at workplace.
  • Workload – both obvious and extra.
  • Low morale arising out of lack of recognition or other such reasons.
  • Poor working conditions.
  • Issues at the workplace like harassment etc.
  • Job dissatisfaction and boredom arising out of monotony and lack of challenge.
  • Inadequate leadership and supervision.
  • Transportation problems.
  • The existence of income protection plans.
  • Lack of commitment to work.
  • General disorientation of employees. 
Ways To Deal With Absenteeism 
When trying to curb absenteeism, the organisation should operate both at general and specific levels. Some of the reasons of absenteeism can be curbed by making the workplace more employee-friendly and initiating measures for employee engagement. However, some specific cases always need to be considered separately and finally the management needs to know when to put its foot down and act firmly.

Some ways of dealing with absenteeism are:

  • Maintain a general hygiene of the office premises and make sure your organisation meets all the international standards of a healthy workplace.
  • Ensure sufficient number of employees to carry out specific work in order to curb work overload and stress. Have the supervisors counsel their subordinates on how to manage the work.
  • Develop transparency in the organisation and encourage employees to approach their seniors in case of any harassment. Make a separate committee altogether if possible.
  • Endorse and encourage an open door policy.
  • Motivate employees by acknowledging their efforts and educate them on their role in the organisation.
  • Encourage job rotation to curb boredom.
  • Lead by example and cut down your leaves.
  • Educate employees on the link between their presence and productivity and give them rough statistics of the work lost due to absenteeism.
  • Make work fun by allowing on-floor communication, initiate employee engagement to keep employees entertained, and de-stressed.
  • Educate employees on work prioritization and discourage taking work home.
  • Never turn down leave requests unceremoniously. Your employees may have serious issues to attend to. Always look closely at the situation before taking a stand. Modify your leave policy if required.
  • Make provisions for maternity and paternity leaves as per rules.
  • Discipline and reprimand constantly erring employees, if required, to set an example.

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