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Reducing employee absences

How to Reduce Employee Absences

By Roz
Published on July 20, 2015

Everyone needs a day off every now and then to get their lives and health back on track, but at some point too many days off from work crosses over to absenteeism. Naturally this is bad for business because staff need to be available to their colleagues and to customers.

Missing too many days at work can leave the employee out of the loop when it comes to internal changes in office policy, or even simple office news. The employee feels out of the loop and starts performing poorly, or they’re missing crucial pieces of information to perform their jobs well. Address existing absenteeism or prevent it by using these simple tips!


  1.  Get to the Problem

If specific employees are facing difficulties outside of their work such as:

  • Struggling to find child care;
  • Ongoing health issues;
  • Or transportation problems;

you can expect that the employee will continue to behave the way they have been until the issue is resolved. Depending on company preference and office policy, you may consider helping the employee find a solution to their problems in order to resolve their absenteeism.

For jobs that are scheduled by shift, it may be possible to accommodate the worker’s needs by giving them certain days off through clever scheduling.


  2.   Make it a policy to show up 

Depending on the job and the employees affected, you may want to consider drafting and instituting an attendance policy. The policy should not be an empty threat as you should be willing to follow through with the consequences in case of continued absenteeism. Depending on your business, you may not be able to afford repeated time off, in which case, you should prepare for the possibility of high employee turnover.

For those who do have a high turnover rate, video training will help lessen any future cost. You’ll be able to get new employees up to speed quickly without wasting the time of any current employees.


 3.  Continue monitoring problem employees

Absenteeism may accompany other issues such as low performance, disturbing other employees, or dissatisfied customers. There could be a number of reasons that this may be the case:

  • An overworked employee
  • An unmotivated worker
  • Stress management difficulties


Each of these items are different cases than another, for example an otherwise high performing worker who is suffering from an unsustainable work ethic should be encouraged to reduce their personal goals.

Although it’s important to try hard, performing consistently is more important. An employee who is simply not interested in the job is a much harder problem to resolve, depending on company policy, seniority, and office politics.

Some employees might consider tolerating absenteeism as sigh of weakness, so it’s important to address it as soon as the issue arises. Always be firm and obey government legislation regarding employee rights and company policy.


One response to “How to Reduce Employee Absences”

  1. […] needs to become a priority. Keep an eye out for signs that a worker may be wearing down – increased absenteeism or incidents of illness, a change in behavior or a decrease in productivity can all be signs that […]

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