Employee absences cost businesses money in a number of ways. The company must pay the employee for sick leave, productivity slows down, and other employees may have to take on the burden of additional work if their coworker remains absent for an extended period. The majority of human resources professionals agree that employee absences take a noticeable toll on revenue and productivity, but many employers do not track the effects of employee absence on their bottom line.
While employers cannot change the fact that employee absences come at a cost, they can reduce the overall expense. The following are several suggestions for achieving that goal.
- Start tracking attendance. If an employer is not monitoring when employees call out of work, they cannot hope to measure the true costs. Although this seems like common sense, few HR professionals feel their company tracks absences well enough and not many businesses use an integrated system to do so. By keeping track of absences, employers can recognize patterns or growing problems. For example, employers may notice certain employees always call out on Fridays or Mondays. Having reliable data can help employers address such attendance issues before they get out of hand.
- Assist employees trying to return to work. If an employee is out of the office for an extended period due to a serious illness or injury, returning to work full time can be daunting. Offering a phased return to allow employees to work up to their full schedule can help minimize their anxiety. Another option is to provide accommodations such as a flexible work schedule or the ability to work from home. These approaches minimize the likelihood of a relapse.
- Improve the office atmosphere. Stress is a significant source of employee absences. Stress can make employees more prone to illness and to calling out for mental health reasons. Stress in the workplace is a compounding issue. When stressed employees call out, their absences then adds additional stress to their coworkers. It can begin a vicious cycle of unhappy employees. Improving the workplace environment to reduce stress and improve morale can reduce these issues.
If your company is struggling with absenteeism, Actec can help. Our absence reporting program can help employers keep track of employee attendance, reduce absenteeism, and improve productivity. Contact us today to learn more.