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What Are the Best Tips for Managing Absenteeism?

Felicia Dye
Felicia Dye

Managing absenteeism begins by selectively hiring people who prioritize attendance. Employers need to set a positive example by being properly staffed and recognizing those employees who have notable attendance records. When possible, employees should feel that they can approach their superiors regarding modified work schedules. It is also best to revise policies that involve employees losing earned time off if they will not be fully compensated for it.

Employers can begin managing absenteeism before they make hiring decisions. Chances are good that there will be less problems if efforts are made to identify which applicants have a history of calling off and which have negative views toward doing so. To be proactive in this regard, attendance should be prioritized during interviews, and applicants should be actively engaged in the conversation. The importance of checking an applicant's attendance history with former employers should prompt prospective employers to check all candidates' references.

Woman holding a book
Woman holding a book

If employers expect staff to view their roles as important and to show up for work, employers must also display high regard for each position. Managing absenteeism is done in large part by employers being properly staffed. When employers leave positions vacant and allow individuals to bear the burden of workloads that should not be theirs, a negative message may be communicated. It also increases the chances of workers experiencing burnout at a much faster rate.

Employers can encourage those with good attendance records to continue doing well by recognizing their efforts. This is especially important in work environments where chronic absenteeism is a problem. If people who come to work are not treated any differently than those who often call off, the better employees may get discouraged and develop bad habits. There are a wide range of incentives that employers can offer, including attendance bonuses, prizes, and periodic early weekends.

Being open to modified work schedules can also help with managing absenteeism. If employees need to change their work schedules or to work from home for certain periods and it is possible for them to do so, employers should consider allowing it. The more convenient it is to work, the more likely individuals are to commit to it. If issues arise in employees' lives and they are under the impression that their employers are inflexible, they may simply choose to call off.

Policies that involve employees losing unused time off can counter efforts of managing absenteeism. Many individuals will call off of work simply to avoid losing the time that they have earned. Even those arrangements that involve employees being paid half of the value of their unused leave before it is eliminated are not sufficient, because it is still to an individual's benefit to call off and receive the full value of that time.

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