Discover the path to high productivity with Zero Absenteeism: Strategies to maximize team performance!
What we will see in this article
What is absenteeism?
Absenteeism is the absence without justification to work, or even without being scheduled to do so even if justified. In addition, lack of punctuality also enters into the concept of absenteeism or absenteeism.
It is clear that for many HR people absenteeism is the absence from work, but the problem goes far beyond that.
We should consider sick leave, regular tardiness, constant leave and absences not previously planned. Of course, vacations do not enter the account because they are the worker’s right.
Absenteeism is not always voluntary and purposeful
You see, it is important to emphasize that absenteeism is not directly related to the employee’s fault or voluntary absence. However, it is essential to consider all situations when combating this problem and seek motivation.
The company must understand the reasons that prevent employee engagement with working hours and the working environment. Absenteeism affects productivity and results in general dissatisfaction due to lower profits and reduced profit distribution.
To achieve maximum productivity and effective solutions, it is crucial that the organization fully exploits this content.
What are the types of absenteeism?
There are four types of absenteeism, they are:
The voluntary type of absenteeism is when employees miss or do not attend certain activities without a valid reason.
Naturally, generating dissatisfaction from leadership and colleagues due to their lack of commitment.
It is important to say that this employee will give a justification, but it could be avoided or it is a weak justification.
Involuntary absenteeism is when external events happen in the employee’s life that are unpredictable and sporadic.
For example, emergencies with family members, accidents and many other events that are beyond the employee’s control.
Absenteeism due to occupational illness
Absenteeism due to occupational disease is linked to injuries, illnesses or even stress that have been generated by working conditions.
These“harmful agents” are beyond the employee’s control and can happen on a regular basis if the company does not address them.
Absenteeism due to common illness
Finally, we have absenteeism due to common illnesses, i.e. colds, flu and other illnesses that are not related to work itself.
What is turnover and absenteeism?
Turnover hinders company productivity as much as absenteeism.
This is employee turnover, i.e. when employees leave the company.
However, as we said at the beginning, absenteeism is regular absences of employees regardless of the reason.
What is absenteeism and presenteeism?
Presenteeism is a very important issue to be said for a complete understanding of absenteeism.
Presenteeism is when employees are present but unproductive due to illness, stress or lack of motivation.
Realize that this is also a problem, after all, what is the point of employees being present, but unhappy and unproductive, right?
Absenteeism is not a problem generated per se by the employee, after all the employee does not know about the future, when he will be sick or when he will have an issue to solve.
Even employees who voluntarily abstain need to be educated and given feedback to address this issue.
In all cases, company leaders need to take responsibility for finding an effective solution for everyone.
What are the consequences of absenteeism?
Absenteeism, whatever it may be, will cause several consequences for companies and employees. See the main ones below:
- Low productivity generating dissatisfaction in leadership
- Increased unnecessary costs to cover shortages
- Insufficient productivity of employees who are present due to the absence of their colleagues
- Suffocating or overloaded organizational climate, generating employee turnover
How to identify the reasons for absenteeism?
In this topic we will show you some strategies to identify the reasons for absenteeism in your company.
Constructive feedback consists of talking to employees individually and understanding the real reason for the lack in an empathetic and transparent way.
This is the quickest and most effective way to understand why employees are absent because by understanding the reason for absence, it is possible to seek a solution.
You can study your company’s absenteeism figures over a period of time to understand trends and patterns.
For example, checking this data in a month, week or year. In this way, formulate a reason why employees are missing.
Which method to choose?
It is possible to use the analysis together with the feedback for a more accurate understanding of the situation.
Data analysis will provide patterns of behavior, leaving leadership prepared to deal with future problems.
While feedback shows the reasons why employees are lacking in a more specific way.
We therefore recommend that you follow the following step by step:
- Make a spreadsheet of all absences and tardiness in the last three months of the company to have a solid database
- Make another spreadsheet on which employees are most absent from the company
- Carry out individual feedbacks identifying exactly why these employees are missing work, asking the reason based on the dates they missed, were late or were absent
- Look for patterns on the reasons for the absence of the majority, such as every Monday 15 employees are late.
By identifying the reasons why most employees are absent, we can use the Pareto principle to seek a solution.
Which indicators should I use to assess absenteeism?
In the previous topic we talked about two spreadsheets you can create, in this topic we will show you the best indicators to deal with the data you already have and will have in the future.
- Patterns of absenteeism: Seasonal or recurring trends in absences, absenteeism or lateness
- Absenteeism rate: Percentage of absence in relation to the total number of days of attendance
- Average delay duration: Average time that employees are late in relation to the scheduled time.
- Frequency of absenteeism: Which employees are most absent and how many absences in a given period?
How to create a culture of presence in the company?
To create a culture of presence in the company, it is necessary to adopt a mindset that the company will solve this problem assertively.
We are repeating ourselves a lot on this issue because we can never let go of the responsibility to collaborate.
After all, if we take this stance we are creating a negative environment and so absenteeism will continue anyway.
Creating a culture of presence in the company requires strategy, creating incentives for the employee and being a leader by example.
In other words, in addition to taking responsibility, the leadership needs to be equally punctual and not absent without reason.
We will talk about the best strategies and how to create incentives in the next topics of our content.
What strategies can I use to engage employees?
We will show you the best strategies for each type of absenteeism we talked about in the first topics.
Constructive feedback for voluntary absenteeism
Constructive feedback is when we offer feedback to the employee in an empathetic and assertive way about the problem.
That is, we show the problem and work together with the employee to define a common solution.
For example, the company may have a transportation voucher policy for employees who live far from work.
The important thing is to always be genuinely empathetic with the employee, positioning yourself as part of the employee’s “team” and not against them.
Flexibility of schedules for involuntary absenteeism
As we said earlier, involuntary absenteeism is not controlled by the employee and happens sporadically.
With this in mind, it is interesting to momentarily make that employee’s hours flexible because it is sporadic.
Obviously, this will depend very much on the case. For more severe cases, time off is essential. However, for other cases flexible working hours may be a possibility.
Positive organizational culture
Foster an organizational culture of respect, mutual support and a sense of teamwork. This can contribute to employee motivation in general.
Occupational safety methods absenteeism due to occupational disease
Occupational disease occurs at work and the only way to avoid it is to have an occupational safety professional to ensure that there is no problem about employee safety.
As these are very specific methods, it is necessary to hire them to avoid this type of absenteeism.
Training to prevent common diseases
Common illnesses such as dengue fever, colds, flu and others are easily avoided when employees are vigilant.
The best strategy in this case is to train employees to be aware of the risks and problems that can occur in the event of illness.
This way, they will take more care of themselves and the number of absences due to common illnesses will certainly decrease.
How to promote employee well-being?
As we talked about earlier, stress can be a key element for the high case of absenteeism in your company.
Therefore, it is important to focus on the well-being of employees. Plus, it’s a positive environment everyone can be more productive, right?
With that in mind, here are the two best strategies to promote employee well-being:
Investing in an ergonomic environment plays an essential role in reducing the risk of injuries and other occupational diseases.
In addition, the ergonomic environment can reduce stress because all the necessary materials will be there for employees.
It is important to conduct feedback with the teams to find out what materials, machinery or software are missing.
Psychological support can be very transformative in an employee’s professional and personal life.
With a psychologist or therapist within the company it is possible to make employees more productive and satisfied in the environment they are in.
After all, there are many issues of the human psyche that when adjusted greatly improve a person’s life.
What health programs can be implemented to reduce absenteeism?
We talked earlier that the best strategy is training on common diseases and ways to prevent them.
However, if this strategy is used in conjunction with the programs your company can offer, absenteeism due to common illnesses can drop to zero.
- Medical check-ups: Medical check-ups can go a long way to finding illnesses early, especially when employees show some signs of them
- Regular examinations: Regular examinations (apart from admission examinations) do not need signs and can be allocated on certain regular dates, precisely to avoid any negative signs
- Vaccination campaigns: Vaccination can considerably reduce common illnesses such as colds, flu and even seasonal diseases.
How important is clear communication in combating absentism?
Clear communication can bring the employee together in search of a solution rather than driving them away.
It is necessary to understand that accusing the employee is not an effective attitude and is quite harmful in the search for a solution.
In addition, transparency makes the employee feel comfortable to share personal issues that are affecting their presence in the company.
When these problems are openly raised, leadership and employee can bring about an effective solution.
Not only for that employee in question, but for future cases and future employees.
What flexibility policies can I use to deal with absences?
Flexibility policies should be seen as incentives for employees at the same time as solutions.
If possible, offer the possibility of remote work so that the employee can remain productive from home.
Remote working can be a very effective policy to avoid voluntary absenteeism and lateness.
For example, the meeting does not have to change time if the employee is late, but there is such a model.
Time banking is when employees make up for hours lost through lateness or even absentism.
Increasing your weekly hours until the lost hours are made up.
This serves as both a solution and an incentive to arrive on time and avoid any voluntary absentism.
How can leadership impact on reducing absentism?
Leadership can set an example and have effective communication to reduce absences.
When you have leadership that arrives on time, recognizes when they are late or absent, it becomes an example for employees.
Remember that leadership is the greatest example of a team, naturally its qualities will also be qualities of the team.
In addition, it is important that the leadership has effective communication to solve the problem while being empathetic and transparent.
How to monitor absenteeism?
There are two main ways to continuously monitor and evaluate absenteeism.
Monthly monitoring of indicators
The spreadsheets and indicators we talked about in previous topics are the basis for checking whether the solutions put in place were effective or not.
The best way to understand this in the case of data is to follow the monthly evolution of absences.
That is, if the rates and other indicators show a decrease in absenteeism over the months, it means that the solutions have been effective.
However, it is important to understand that a continuous check of this data is needed to create new solutions if necessary.
Constructive feedback with employees
It is important to understand that absences are not just numbers, absentism is also an employee problem that only the company can solve.
Therefore, it is always important to conduct regular feedbacks to understand the reason for employees’ latest absences and whether they are having any problems.
In addition to further connecting leadership and employees, feedback can add richness to the data already collected.
How to promote staff autonomy and self-management?
See the main ways to promote employee self-management and autonomy.
Software to monitor productivity
Software like Notion, Trello and many others are very effective when everyone has access.
After all, the information is unified and everyone can identify the problem to solve or turn to leadership more quickly.
We have already talked about some incentives in previous topics, but one of the main ones is the career plan for employees.
This is because the career path directs employees and rewards them for good work.
As it is impossible to do a good job without being in the company, the career plan becomes very effective in this sense.
In addition, it can reduce employee turnover by showing that good employees will be rewarded.
Autonomy for trusted employees
Employees who have shown themselves to be reliable, i.e. productive, loyal and with potential should be given more autonomy.
That is, to participate in the decision-making process and make certain decisions within their area of expertise.
What are the best practices to combat absenteeism?
Finally, let’s summarize the best practices to combat absenteeism.
- Culture of physical and mental health care through training, vaccination campaigns and stress management
- Policies and incentives such as time banking, flexible working hours and remote working
- Empathetic, exemplary leadership who can provide regular constructive feedback
- Regular and constant analysis of data on shortages and solutions adopted
How to deal with absenteeism in a practical way?
On the company side:
- Communicate clearly the importance of attendance and the impact of absences.
- Offer support to employees with personal or health problems.
- Implement incentives for attendance and performance.
- Create a positive and flexible working environment.
On the employee’s side:
- Commit to the job and meet contractual obligations.
- Report issues affecting attendance.
- Taking care of physical and emotional health.
- Plan absences in advance and seek solutions to challenges.
- Actions on both sides are needed to combat voluntary absenteeism and ensure a productive and healthy working environment.
Progressive discipline to combat absenteeism
Progressive discipline: If all attempts at support and awareness do not work, follow the company’s disciplinary process, in accordance with its policies and applicable labor laws.