4 Tips for reducing absenteeism in the workplace


1. Write Attendance Policy

Formalize the organization’s expectations for attendance by writing an attendance policy. Include in the policy the definition for being tardy and what constitutes excessive tardiness or absenteeism.

For example: Tardiness is defined as an employee who arrives to work 30 minutes late. Excessive absenteeism is defined as an employee who has 6 or more unplanned absences in a six month period of time.

This policy then becomes a measure for good performance.

2. Set Clear Attendance Expectations

Share the attendance policy with employees as part of the new employee orientation process and discuss what your expectations are for attendance.

Also discuss how to notify the organization, and who the employee should contact, when they will not be coming to work.

Employees should understand how often is acceptable to have an unplanned absence, how many times of missing work crosses a performance line and what the consequences will be for excessive absenteeism.

For example: The employee performance appraisal form should have a dimension for attendance.

3. Reward Good Attendance

Some organizations reward good attendance by giving employees a bonus for having no unplanned absences in a 12 month period.

And, when attendance is incorporated into the annual performance appraisal process, employees can also see rewards in the way of merit increases.

Another tactic is to provide adequate paid time off so employees have the option of planning for absences by using a predetermined bank of hours.

4. Provide Employee Support

Sometimes employees are simply experiencing a challenging time of life. This is when providing support through Employee Assistance Programs, can help them deal with personal issues that might be affecting their attendance.

This kind of support can not only help employees through a difficult time, but it also makes them feel valued and that their employer cares about them. A major determining factor of employee engagement.

In order for an organization to be successful, it needs a committed and engaged workforce. One way to foster commitment and engagement is clear expectations, empathetic employee support and a structured process to reward good performance.

By Patricia Lotich

This article is a general information sheet and should not be used or relied upon as professional advice. No liability can be accepted for any errors or omissions nor for any loss or damage arising from reliance upon any information herein. Always contact your financial adviser for specific and detailed advice.  Errors and omissions excepted (E&OE)