Strategies To Reduce Employee Absenteeism And Enhance Retention | 4 mins read

6 Strategies to Curb Absenteeism and Improve Retention

6 strategies to curb absenteeism and improve retention
Mary Kate Morrow

By Mary Kate Morrow

Strategies to Reduce Employee Absenteeism and Enhance Retention

Small business and large corporation owners alike know that employee absenteeism is a major issue. In fact, employee absenteeism is estimated to cost employers in the United States $225.8 billion each year.

This massive cost to employers averages out to $1,685 per employee each year. Not only does excessive absenteeism influence bottom line profitability, but it also influences everything from employee engagement levels of team members to overall employee retention rates.

Thankfully there are many techniques available for small business and large corporation owners alike to improve employee attendance in the workplace. 6 strategies for reducing absenteeism and improve employee retention include-

1. Formulate Attendance Policy

An excellent attendance policy can help curb excessive absenteeism both long term and meaningfully. Regardless of how many team members a company has on its payroll or if an established human resources department even exists, every business should create and maintain an established attendance policy for absence management purposes.

An attendance policy must clarify different types of employee absences as well as include any corresponding disciplinary action. The most effective attendance policy is one that team members can easily understand and reference.

The established attendance policy should be clearly displayed in the office and sent to all team members. Requiring employees to sign a waiver confirming both receipt and acceptance of the attendance policy will help avoid future human resources disputes regarding employee attendance.

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2. Consistent Policy Enforcement

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One way to invalidate the effectiveness of an attendance policy is a failure to enforce it consistently. When employees feel the attendance policy is not fairly or consistently enforced, they are less likely to adhere to it.

An important consideration for human resources and management professionals to make is that there will always be exceptions. For example, an employee who gets into a car accident on the way to work clearly does not equate to an employee who is late because they did not bother setting a morning alarm the night before.

However, for employees committing the same attendance violations, absence management should be upheld consistently and fairly. This also applies to team members in human resources and management professionals.

3. Record Absences Dutifully

In order to reduce absenteeism both long term and effectively, it is crucial that attendance records are properly maintained. Records should clarify absence types, for example noting if an absence is paid time off or scheduled.

There are many absence management tools available to assist human resources professionals and business owners with this task. An employee time clock and time tracking software are valuable tools to keep employees and human resources professionals on the same page.

In the instance that a business decides to terminate an employee due to excessive work related absenteeism, these records are prepared and referencable.

4. Address Absences Promptly

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A significant and common absence management mistake that many human resource professionals and business owners commit is the refusal to promptly address excessive absenteeism. A failure to address employee absenteeism promptly can result in a variety of significant work related consequences including reduced employee engagement levels and work life balance issues.

Whenever a long term employee absence occurs, best practices suggest a formal meeting upon employee return. Formal return meetings are effective at reducing absenteeism and are believed to be most beneficial for small business employers.

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5. Pinpoint Root Causes

Too often work related issues are treated for the negative symptoms they create instead of their root causes. A great way to combat this phenomenon is for human resource professionals or small business owners to meet formally with team members to discuss any absence patterns observed.

For example, a human resource professional may discover that employees feel the holiday schedule is unfair and that paid time off should be increased. Or, an employee may have outside childcare responsibilities that could be easily resolved with a more flexible work schedule or remote work capabilities.

When employees feel comfortable speaking openly with human resources and management, employees work better overall. As a result, a more optimized work life balance and work environment are likely.

6. Recognize Great Attendance

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A great employee attendance policy should reward team members who have good attendance. When team members see other employees being rewarded, employee engagement and employee retention levels will likely rise.

When employees feel they are not recognized at work they are 200% more likely to decide to quit within the upcoming year. Additionally, an estimated 76% of millennial employees report that they would quit a role if they did not feel appreciated.

Recognizing great attendance is a low cost solution with outstanding long term potential. Both monetary incentives or even rewards like a wellness program can result in major improvements both for the work environment and reducing employee absenteeism overall.

Key Takeaways

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  • Employee absenteeism and employee retention rates should be top priority concerns for small business and large corporation owners alike.
  • Techniques to reduce absenteeism and enhance retention range from an established attendance policy formation to wellness programs installed.

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