Employee absenteeism is much more than a mere inconvenience for an employer. While many employees have legitimate illness or emergencies, a lot of employees call in sick to tend to personal business and appointments, or because they are depressed, have substance abuse problems, or otherwise just don't enjoy their jobs anymore.
You have to address the underlying issues if you want to reduce those unwelcome phone calls. Three things are essential:
- Re-evaluate your benefits program
- Create an absenteeism policy
- Work on your culture
Change to aTruth be told, many times employees' responsibilities as parents, or to aging parents can be overwhelming. Your workers may simply be trying to juggle demands. Increasingly companies are turning to Paid Time Off (PTO) banks, where basically employees are given a set number of days off a year, to be used as they choose.
PTO policy from the University of Rochester.
Develop a written absenteeism policySpell out the definition of excessive absenteeism and detail disciplinary procedures. As with other policies, it must be vigorously and consistently enforced.
Check your cultural climateTruth is, sometimes, employees just don't want to come to work, because the atmosphere is toxic. What's a good way to check your company's cultural pulse? An employee opinion survey is a good start.
- Maintain attendance records. This will show you are serious and aware of their absences.
- Alternative work arrangements, like telecommuting and job-sharing, are worth exploring as options to curtail unplanned absences. If your workers have more flexibility, they are likely not to want to exploit absences and also be less likely to need to take a day, because they can manage their time better.
- Look for ways to build the team spirit, be it special events or activities inside or outside of the office. A sense of "family" can enhance an employee's commitment level.