Absenteeism is an issue that affects every industry. While providing clear attendance and leave policies can help, they’re not always enough to prevent absenteeism. Burnout, disengagement, and other stressors can lead to frequent absences. Companies can implement the following strategies to reduce employee absenteeism:
- Focus on wellness. Wellness programs can help companies tackle stress in the workplace. Some ideas include lunchtime yoga, lifestyle coaching for stress management, designated break rooms/frequent mini-breaks, and providing healthy lunch or snacks.
- Improve morale. It’s not enough to identify negative factors that cause disengagement. Companies must focus their efforts on getting employees to engage with one and other to rebuild morale. They can achieve this through inter-department competitions with fun prizes, team-building exercises, and other social activities.
- Be flexible. Employees’ home lives don’t always allow for traditional nine to five work schedules. They may need to take their children to school in the morning, attend night classes for professional development, or facilitate care for an infirm relative. Having the option to shift their schedules to the left or the right can eliminate conflicts between their personal lives and work. Offering a certain number of remote days per week can also help reduce employees’ stress.
- Reevaluate existing leave policies. Companies can claim they’re committed to employee wellness, but their existing leave policies may prove otherwise. While the financial feasibility will vary from company to company, employers should offer enough paid leave to avoid employee disengagement and burnout. Ideally, employees should have separate sick days and vacation days or a large enough pool of paid time off to account for both.
Companies can’t afford to overlook absenteeism, as it’s a chronic problem with far-reaching effects. Identifying absence trends is infinitely easier when all attendance data funnels to a centralized location. Contact the experts at Actec to learn more about reducing absenteeism with our absence tracking mobile app.
Many individuals suffer from seasonal allergies; however, for some, it’s a debilitating issue that can be hard to manage. With up to 30% of Americans suffering from allergies, it’s one of the top three reasons employees call out of work. It’s worth the time involved for employers to try and reduce allergens in the office as it improves productivity and employee well-being as well as reduces absences due to allergies.
The following are several steps employers can take to help the allergy sufferers in the building:
- Smart workspace arrangement. Many individuals suffer from pet allergies, with dogs and cats being the most common. When deciding where to place various workstations, keep these individuals in mind and avoid seating them next to a pet owner.
- Stay on top of filtration needs. Pollen infiltrates a building through obvious sources such as opening and closing exterior doors and windows. However, a robust air filtration system can help combat this. Changing air filters often can also help address this issue.
- Manage dust mites. Dust mites are among the most common allergens found in houses. Unfortunately, it’s very easy for employees to carry them from their home to the office without realizing it. Dust mite eggs can nest in carpets, upholstered furniture, and even cubical walls if they’re covered in any type of fabric. Frequent vacuuming and carpet cleaning can help reduce the number of dust mites that linger in the workplace. Dusting workspaces and wiping them down can also help.
- Avoid plug-in scents and aerosols. While these are common bathroom items, they also emit fumes that can cause serious issues for allergy sufferers. Companies should steer clear of cleaning products that eject volatile organic compounds into the air and use less abrasive alternatives instead.
- Find the best allergy medicine. While antihistamines are effective at reducing allergy-induced itchy, watery eyes and runny noses, they can also make employees drowsy. Tiredness is just as likely to affect productivity as allergy symptoms are, so it’s best to combat allergies with non-sedative antihistamines.
The constant sneezing, running noses, and other common issues related to allergies can render employees incapable of working if the symptoms become severe. Taking steps to reduce common allergens can help employees better manage their allergy symptoms, improve their productivity, and reduce allergy-related absences. Contact the experts at Actec to learn more about reducing absenteeism.
Summertime is a break for working parents from parent-teacher conferences, after-school activities, and shopping for school clothes and supplies. Now that summer is winding down, employees with children may be showing signs of stress as they try to reengage for the upcoming school season. While it’s not an employer’s job to manage their employees’ personal lives, a good work-life balance is crucial to keeping the workforce happy and productive. The following are several ways employers can help employees ease back into the school season:
- Be cognizant of employee needs. Small to mid-size companies have an easier time of it, but all companies, regardless of size, should be aware of their employees’ needs. Learning who has children can help managers and company leadership work with employees to prepare for the back to school season. Team meetings represent a great opportunity to remind staff that it’s time to prepare for the new school year and discuss any challenges this may present. For example, some employees may need more time to complete a project than usual to allow them to make sure their child is ready for the upcoming school season.
- Remind staff of their leave. It’s easy for employees to think of paid leave as for vacations or illnesses only. However, many company policies include personal leave or utilize an overall paid time off (PTO) bank that employees can use for any purpose. Some states even provide 24-hours of unpaid leave for qualified employees to address their children’s educational and medical needs. Employers and managers should remind staff members that a positive work-life balance is important and to use their leave if they need to.
- Be flexible. Employees often have to arrange childcare for children before and after school. Sometimes these arrangements fall through and the employee must scramble to find proper care. Other times, the cost of childcare is too expensive for employees to manage morning and evening care. One way to help alleviate this issue is to allow for flexible start times. For example, if an employee usually works 7:30-3:30, consider allowing them to work 9-5 instead or vice versa. This can allow them to take their kids to school or pick them up from school depending on which situation works better for them. This can help them solve the problem of short-notice childcare and the related expenses. Another option is to allow employees to work from home for a certain number of hours for the first couple of weeks of school while they establish their new routine.
Employees who struggle with stress at home and at work are more prone to unexpected absence. Employees who feel like their employers care about work-life balances have better attendance records, are more loyal, and have better productivity. Helping employees cope with stressful periods in their life can help them manage their responsibilities at home while keeping up with their work. To learn more about reducing employee absences, contact the experts at Actec.
Stress is one of the leading causes of employee absenteeism. However, stress is a multipronged issue with several sources. Some of the most common include:
- Excessive employee workload
- Issues with coworkers
- Unengaging or unsatisfying work
- Low salaries
- Limited opportunities for growth or advancement
With over three-fourths of workers reporting feeling stressed, successful managers need to make themselves aware of the stress points and take steps to mitigate them.
How to Tackle Stress in the Workplace
Identifying problems isn’t enough—great managers will take the initiative to resolve them. The following are several methods that can reduce different types of workplace stressors.
- Set clear goals and expectations. If staff members have to sit and wonder what they are supposed to be doing or what the end goal is, they are wasting time. Not only does this stress them out, it also creates delays, which can compound their stress. By providing clear instructions and appropriate details, employees will understand what they should work on and why.
- Encourage activity or exercise. Encourage employees to get moving whether they go for a walk during lunch or hit the gym. Moving the body can allow the brain to take a mental break. Staring at a screen for eight hours straight for days on end can stress an employee to the point where they become ill or lose motivation. Encouraging employees to take a 5-minute stretch break or walk every couple of hours can allow them to decompress and improve their focus.
- Imbue flexibility into your company culture. Employees have lives outside of the workplace and great managers will recognize this. Employees need flexibility to keep their work and life needs in balance. Allowing for flexible schedules so employees can come in earlier or later will help accommodate parents with children in school or employees who are attending college courses at night. Offering the ability to work an extra hour per day, four days a week so employees can take a half day on Friday can also boost morale. Implementing a work from home policy can reduce employee stress as well as it gives them the ability to work from home if they can’t come in due to caring for a sick child or family member.
- Recognize employees’ achievements. Recognizing team members’ efforts makes employees feel appreciated and valued. This can improve their engagement and productivity as well. Acknowledging hard work can be as simple as having a chat about the great work the employee has been doing or as grand as recognizing employees during meetings or events.
Great managers will make sure their employees know they care about reducing their stress. This fosters loyalty, improves workplace productivity, and reduces absenteeism due to stress. To learn more about improving employee attendance, contact the experts at Actec.