A recent ADP Research Institute Survey revealed that most U.S. employers are not being diligent in their efforts to curb absenteeism in the workplace. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics credits unplanned absences in the workplace for 2.8 million lost work days each year. This lost productivity costs employers more than $74 billion dollars each year. According to the CDC (Center for Disease Control), losses in productivity related to personal health problems as well as the health of family members costs employers in the U.S. $1,685 per employee each year. Knowing how much absenteeism has the potential to cost businesses, it’s important to take active steps, such as these, to combat it.
Adopt a Company-Wide Wellness Initiative
Many companies are turning to this as a means for lowering the cost of insurance, improving the overall health and wellbeing of their employees, and reducing stress in the workplace. The key to a successful wellness program is participation, so make it worth the while of employees to participate in order to have a greater impact.
Offer Safety Training
Safety training is more necessary in some businesses than others, though all businesses can benefit from a safety-minded staff. Set aside time during regularly scheduled work hours to offer the training and make attendance mandatory. Otherwise the turnout for these training sessions could be significantly less than anticipated as safety training isn’t at the top of all employees’ lists of meetings to attend.
Unplanned absenteeism in the workplace damages productivity and profitability. The savings achieved by eliminated unexpected absences is massive and worth investing a small percentage to keep employees on the job when they’re supposed to be. Incentives may be in the form of gift certificates, bonuses, or half-day Fridays (or something similar) after going so many consecutive weeks without an unscheduled absence.
Offer Flexible Scheduling
Try as they may, there are some things that can only be dealt with during office hours. This means that sometimes, employees simply can’t work around whatever it is they need to do in a manner that will keep them on the job at their designated or scheduled times. However, if you offer employees the option to trade two hours in the morning by working two hours later in the evening or even coming in two hours earlier in the morning in order to leave two hours earlier in the evening it can eliminate a lot of missed days employees take to resolve personal issues that only account for a small window of their day.
Establish Policies about Sick Leave
There’s nothing quite like having a policy in writing, along with black and white consequences for failing to adhere to the policy, to let employees know exactly what is expected of them when dealing with personal illnesses as well as the illnesses of family members in their care.
Offer Jobs that are Challenging and Enriching
The bottom line is that people are rarely absent from jobs they find engaging and intriguing. Match the talent of employees to the jobs they have so they do not feel unnecessary on one extreme or overwhelmed on the other. Engagement is absolutely necessary to keep employees working at their prescribed times.
Most small businesses can’t afford to lose money or productivity due to excessive employee absences. These small steps will go a long way towards reducing excess absenteeism in the workplace as long as they are put to good use.