What Do Chronic Employee Absences Say About Your Organization?

Posted on

May 14th, 2018


shutterstock_252811903 - CopyAn employee calling out from time to time is not cause for concern. Even numerous employees calling out in quick succession can have a plausible explanation, such as the flu making its way through the office. However, excessive absences that remain unchecked can have significant consequences for businesses. Absences cost money, impede efficiency, and can hurt office morale.

Interpreting the Message

If a company notices patterns surrounding employee absences, they need to determine the root cause. Absences almost always have meaning. The following represent the most common explanations for continuing employee attendance issues.

  1. Unclear attendance policies or limited enforcement. If the employee handbook does not underscore the importance of adhering to arrival and departure times, employees are likely to believe their hours are flexible. The handbook also needs to clarify the leave request policy so employees know how to report sick days.
  2. The attendance policy is unreasonable. Employers need to take a hard look at their workforce when setting start and stop times. For example, many retail jobs rely on high school students. However, if employers demand their student employees arrive to work minutes after school lets out, they are asking for failure. Refusing to allow vacation or personal leave can also cause numerous sick leave requests. Attendance policies need to take into account employees’ work-life balance. Everyone needs time off work for personal matters, and attendance policies should reflect this.
  3. Personal problems. If employers notice the same employee calls out on a regular basis or always leaves early on Fridays, there may be a personal issue at play. Employers should schedule a time to talk with the employee to determine the issue. For example, the employee may be taking night classes on Fridays and needs to leave early to get to class on time. One solution for this scenario is to allow the employee to begin and leave work earlier on Fridays to meet their work schedule and school schedule needs.

Employers may not notice an attendance problem until it is out of control. By implementing absence reporting and tracking programs, managers and employers may notice trends regarding employee absences. This allows them to take action right away to contain the absences. If your office is struggling with absenteeism, Actec can help. Contact us today to learn more about our absence reporting program.