Absenteeism can affect an organization seriously. But entrepreneurs, HR professionals and managers have to understand that employees are humans, too. They must understand that workers have other concerns in their lives other than work. Everyone may not have the same priorities—some will have more issues than others. We must try to learn the reasons behind excessive absenteeism instead of simplistically trying to punish those who repeatedly stay away from work. It may not be just a habit, but something more serious, which punishment may not solve.
A flexible working schedule and chill-out time can be better for team members who have to spend more time with their family. But, if one genuine case leads to someone else taking up the idea as, “if he/she can, so can I”, and if this results in more employee absenteeism, it can take a huge toll on the company’s productivity and team performance.
Just by marking employees who miss work regularly red and punishing them may have worked in the past. But today, it requires a more humane approach while addressing the issue.
As an entrepreneur or HR executive, you will soon realize that you cannot solve the absenteeism issue entirely. Employees will have some unscheduled absenteeism at times because of different reasons. But, by using certain measures, you can improve the attendance of your workforce. It basically means creating a healthier work environment and having a set of definite attendance rules. Here are some tips that you can follow to lower employee absenteeism…
Develop a Clear Leave Policy
Your employers have to understand exactly what is expected of them on the attendance front. So, your policy must say clearly how employees will report absence, how the company will take up leave that has not been sanctioned, and what the consequences of too much absenteeism will be. Besides, you have to implement the policy strictly for your employees to take it seriously.
Tackle Unsanctioned Leave Immediately
You must follow your attendance policy and tackle unsanctioned absenteeism when handing out consequences. But dealing with unscheduled absences is not just about punishments like a salary cut. You must understand the real reasons and give proper support to employees when required. A good practice can be introducing a return-to-work meeting. This can help a worker get back into his/her job easily, while showing that the company cares about its workforce; it can also lower repeat absenteeism.
Reward Regular Attendees
You can adopt a reward system for those who have a very good attendance report and give them extra incentives to encourage everyone. At the same time, you must keep in mind that some people could have a good reason for being absent, such as serious illness in the family or personal debilitation. You must see that the reward policy does not penalize employees with genuine issues.
Improve Employee Well-Being
Many a time, absenteeism is related to a stressful and unhealthy work environment. Therefore, you must try to lower the stress level in your company. For instance, you can adopt a wellness program, or take appropriate steps to deal with harassment cases. Also, make sure to look after your employees’ health as a primary concern. This will assist you in tackling health-related absenteeism and improve productivity.
Provide Flexible Work Options
By providing a flexible work schedule, you can improve employee well-being and their loyalty towards your company. So, it is important that you consider implementing a flexible working system, as well as remote working.
It is also important for you to make your employees know how they can improve themselves. By offering guidance and encouragement, you can make your employees feel they are being noticed. It will encourage them to give of their best and improve their performance—even avoid missing work. You can offer employee training and development programs, too, where employees can enhance their skills and engage more in your company’s activities. It will also help if you maintain a good internal communication system where employees can connect within the company, recommend improvements and report issues and so on.
To track employee work time and absenteeism, you can also use such tools as ‘absence management’. With valuable data from them, you can evaluate employee absenteeism and check how your attendance policy is working, or whether it needs further changes to reduce time off for your staff.
About the Author
Mr. Harish Jagtani, a philanthropist, visionary, businessman of Indian origin, currently based in Democratic Republic of Congo for more than 20 years now, is one of the most reputed business owners in the Indian diaspora as well as the entire expat business community in DRC. The business house caters to multiple domains, including but not limited to Domestic as well as International Air Cargo, real Estate and infrastructure development, healthcare, hospitality as well as CSR.
Coming from humble beginnings from Jaipur, Rajasthan, Mr. Harish Jagtani has come a long way in building this conglomerate with a strong and clear vision, sheer dedication and grit. Starting with a small job in sales, Mr. Harish Jagtani today is a proud and righteous owner of a fleet of airplanes and multiple businesses that cater to the basic and advanced needs of the people of Dem. Rep. of Congo in different sectors.