Employees’ absenteeism in the workplace: How to handle unscheduled absences

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There are several ways to reduce their negative effect on productivity and work process. How?

The key to solving this problem is understanding its causes. Let’s go through the main reasons of unscheduled absences and ways to prevent them.

1. Illnesses and injuries

The main problem here is that the employees fail to notify their managers about unexpected sick days or tardiness caused by sickness. Mostly, this happens because there’s no defined procedure of informing the manager about this type of absences. Another reason is the lack of a convenient system that allows to inform the team about last-minute schedule changes.

What to do: implement a procedure that defines employees’ actions for taking an unexpected sick leave. Also, consider adopting an absence management system that allows to inform managers and coworker about absences and tardiness.

2. Child and elder care issues

What to do: consider introducing a flexible schedule or work from home for the employees who struggle with such issues, if their responsibilities allow that.

3. Bullying

The important thing for a manager here is being able noticing the problems of work environment and relationships in the team. Receiving feedback from the team members is crucial for identifying and managing bullying problems.

What to do: make sure there are no bullies or “toxic” people on the team, or there are ways to manage their behavior. Be the part of the work environment to identify bullying issues as early as possible.

4. Lack of motivation

What to do: the first step here is finding out why the employee is not motivated enough to come in to work. Then, the solution involves finding efficient ways of motivation: recognition, rewards, feedback are the most important of them.

5. Burnout

What to do: identify the reasons of the problem and encourage the employee to solve the burnout issue.

6. Lack of a consistent absence policy

What to do: develop and implement an absence management policy, and explain your employees how to notify the team about their absences and schedule changes. If it involves using special software tools, organize an onboarding process to make sure that each team member is familiar with the software understands the procedure.


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