Any effective business relies on a strong workforce, powerful productivity and soaring morale to keep operations up and running, but sometimes sick days can get in the way. Absenteeism is a term given when an employee is habitually and frequently absent from work and is becoming more and more common in workplaces across a range of industries. If you’re a manager, supervisor, or a team leader, you’ll have likely experienced cases of absenteeism within your team. It’s normal that staff will be absent from time to time, such as for illness or bereavement, however, when absenteeism is frequent and excessive, it begins to become a problem. Let’s take a look at the ways you can reduce absenteeism in the workplace by creating a healthier and happier workforce.
Effects on your team’s energy
Absenteeism affects both employees and employers in many different ways. Many employers will quickly notice the effects of absenteeism, often finding that productivity levels are reduced and morale within their team is particularly low. Morale can be a particular problem for employees who constantly have to fill in and cover for absent members of staff if they don’t see any consequences for their absence. Absenteeism will have impacts on other areas of the business too, such as high administration costs, increased labour costs for hiring replacement or temporary workers and poor customer service.
In terms of the effects on your team, the consequences can be just as difficult to tackle. Most team members who need to take time off tend to lose pay, making them less enthusiastic to get stuck into their role. Many staff struggling with absenteeism tend to see reduced levels of productivity on their return to work, finding they need to ‘catch up’ on missed work. When absenteeism becomes more problematic by being frequent and unexplained, members of staff could face dismissal, which is bad news for employees as well as the employer.
Spotting the signs
There are many reasons why absenteeism might spike in the workplace, so as an employer, knowing what signs to spot will help you find the cause of your team’s absence as well as prevent future absences before they occur. Often, employees avoid work because of issues that are happening in the workplace. Bullying and harassment, stress and burnout, and low morale are just some of the reasons staff choose to avoid the workplace. Staying at home allows employees to remove themselves from these scenarios and disengage with the situation, which isn’t a healthy solution to their problems.
Absenteeism is also often caused by personal problems outside of the workplace. Your team may be suffering mental health problems, the loss of a loved one, illness or perhaps the pressure of being relied on as a carer or parent. Absenteeism becomes apparent when your team take time off to attempt to deal with these issues, so spotting the signs of more serious and prolonged cases will let you better support your staff for them to feel able to continue in their valuable role. Providing your team with a valuable, on-hand support network and changing the ways in which you operate can help your team get back into the swing of things.
There are many ways you can support your team both in and out of the workplace to prevent absenteeism from taking its toll on your operations. First and foremost, creating a clear and concise attendance policy that sets expectations is key. The policy will act as a resource to your employees, setting a standard for them to aim towards whilst also letting them know how you’ll support their needs.
Being supportive is a highly effective way to deal with absenteeism. If an employee is absent due to personal issues, like bereavement or mental health problems, you should provide support both when they are absent and on their return to work. Looking into options such as Employee Assistance Programmes is a great place to start if you’re looking to provide your team with the help they need both in and out of the workplace to keep absenteeism at bay.
Lastly, reducing workplace stress is essential for boosting morale and productivity levels, and keeping your team happy in their roles. Health insurance is a sure-fire way of encouraging better health and wellbeing amongst your team. Simply by showing that you care, health insurance and employee benefits lets you take effective steps towards motivating your team; the less stressed your team are, the less likely they are to take time off.
At Protectus Healthcare, we understand the importance of looking after your team, whether it’s at work or at home. From Company Health Insurance to Employee Assistance Programmes, we work to your needs to find you the perfect policy that will keep morale high and productivity pushing forward. Get in touch to see how we can help your business to reduce absenteeism with simple policy solutions.