Most businesses build the reality of employee absences into their business plan. Employees aren’t going to be there, day in, day out, performing their function for the company. They’re going to need holidays, long weekend breaks and perhaps, afternoons off work to look after their kids. Not being at work is a normal part of working life.
But there’s a fine line between an employee who takes time off, and one that is absent. Absenteeism has been a problem in the modern workplace for as long as most business leaders can remember. It’s something that afflicts small and big businesses alike. Often it’s caused by unhappy, dissatisfied employees who would rather do anything than show up to work. The results can be disastrous. You can end up with missed deadlines, poor customer service, and lost profits.
Recently, PWC did some research looking into how many days a year the average employee is absent. It turned out to be 4.9, which equates to almost one working week. It might not sound like a big number, but remember that number is across all industries. In businesses where absenteeism is high, that number is far work.
The question, therefore, is: what can employers do to combat absenteeism in the workplace?
Have A Disciplinary Procedure
One of the things that entrepreneurs frequently struggle with is stamping their authority on the workplace. Entrepreneurs like to think that everybody in their business is as passionate about it as they are. But the truth is that employees rarely are. That’s why it’s worth putting a clear, disciplinary procedure in place, just in case. If you’ve had disciplinary problems in the past, firms like AFG Law can help. When it comes to disciplining staff, it’s essential that entrepreneurs remain on the right side of the law. Once you’ve got an attendance policy in place, it’s clear to everybody the standards that must be met. This can serve as a motivation in itself for continued good work.
Integrate Work And Life
Most entrepreneurs start their businesses because they want to integrate work and life better. They start up companies because they want to make a difference in the world. They don’t just want to be another cog in the wheel. If entrepreneurs want to get rid of absenteeism, they have to realise that the same desires exist in their employees. That’s why great companies try to implement a great work-life balance. Mike Kappel is the CEO of an accounting firm. He’s found that his employees work best when they have flexible working hours. He also stresses the importance of allowing employees to work from home and giving them generous PTO. This, he says, allows employees to strike a better balance between their home and work lives, meaning they stick around for longer.
Look For Patterns
Kappel doesn’t just offer flexible working. He also looks for patterns in his employee absences. If an employee is absent every third Friday of the month, he asks why. It’s usually because they’ve got some kind of commitment. But often it’s for more sinister reasons.