Strategies to Minimize the Effects of Absenteeism in the Workplace in Crisis


Sharad Bhardwaj

Senior editor

Parul Saxena

Chief editor

Last updated: May 20, 2021

For all the businesses in the world, one of the most important assets is the employee. Employees are considered to be the biggest asset that a company can possess for they are the ones who are executing the work. It is therefore important to force the point that their absenteeism can impact the way business functions. Of course, we are talking about unannounced absenteeism.

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This specifically impacts in the areas where experts are working. The mantra of the business world is that “you are no irreplaceable”. Having said that, absenteeism can impact, in case a business is going through a tough time and you need all hands on the deck. There are no finite strategies that can make your employees take fewer leaves.   

There might be many aspects related to absenteeism – like issues on the personal front, employee performance issues, lack of clarity in organizational expectations or a dysfunctional environment as employees are not able to work freely in the atmosphere. As a management team, it becomes important to figure out what the pain points of an employee are. This also gives management insight on which part of the organization needs improvement and how changes can be brought about.

Although these parts are a constant eye-opener as an organization, unplanned absenteeism can make things difficult for the company. Some people are expected to complete their portion of work. And hence, absenteeism impacts. But yes, there are methods in which you can minimize the impact of your assets disappearing like that,

Methods to Minimize the Effects of Absenteeism in the Workplace

  • Ensure that as a business you lay down the finite rules of attendance. Attendance rules, time for entry, break hours and exit time, etc. A clear attendance policy is a must while trying to lower the effects of absenteeism at the workplace. These policies make sure that the employees are aware of the working hours, the importance and sticking to the timelines.
  • Consistency is the most important factor while trying to implement a strict attendance policy. While it may sound a little easy said than done; it is also important to understand that any such policy is flexible to execute. The problem comes into the picture when employees have to do work across different departments. Though some managers might go by the book of rule, some might relax over the rules. It is important that even if stringent rules are not applied, there are consistent regulations for all employees.
  • Employees should be aware of the leave procedure. There should be a standard leave procedure for all employees. Even if there are people taking leaves, as a company you will have data regarding who is going on leave. Also, that will help to lower the effects of absenteeism at the workplace. And for unexpected leaves, there are always methods to make an annual entry in the holiday calendar.
  • Random leaves must be reduced. So, it is equally important that the number of paid time-offs be decided in advance. If there are sufficient paid time-offs, then naturally, the number of impromptu leaves reduces. This will automatically lower the effects of absenteeism at the workplace. If there is someone else who can do the work in place of an absent employee, that can be assigned well in advance.
  • Of late, all the organizations in the world are going for employee wellness programs. These are essential not only from a perspective of physical activity but also for ensuring good mental wellness. Since the job and timelines are stressful, more and more such programs happen to ensure that employees are not absent from work due to health reasons. Worse would be if employees are taking untimely leaves and putting the work in jeopardy. Wellness programs also ensure that the organization cares for its people and that helps reduce absenteeism which will lower the effects of absenteeism at the workplace.
  • A lot would eventually change for many employees and returning to the old routine might become a little strenuous. For companies that have already been on a work from home schedule, might still be okay with being liberal about timelines. However, companies can slowly and steadily bring the employees to work by giving less workload, flexible hours, half-days of on-premise working, etc. After that, it will become easier to come back into the routine of office hours.
  • Rewarding goes a long way. Now, you might not want to penalize the irregular ones. But there can be some extra something offered to the employees who are punctual and who are staying up until late in case there is a need or crisis. This will not only encourage the employees; it will inspire other employees to do better. Naturally, it will lower the effects of absenteeism.  Rewarding punctuality itself will lower down the tardiness as more employees will strive to be on time and complete their work in the stipulated time.
  • A little change is always good. If any employee needs a change in time to accommodate some need or to get something completed on a personal front; it will always do better to adjust some time change. This only if it passes through the protocol. It should just be one of the organization’s habits. When the organization tries to adjust to a time change, employee irregularity will reduce automatically. They know they can always request a time change in the hour of need and therefore, the unplanned absenteeism reduces, and efficiency thereby increases.

These are some of the easy strategies that you can apply as an organization to ensure that you have to lower the effect of absenteeism at the workplace. This can be changed and turned around based upon the organization structure, HR policy, leave policies, etc. Most of the companies have a standardized leave policy based upon which the entire process is made seamless.

However, if there is a situation where you need to handle unexpected prolonged leaves by employees and that too during crisis time, it becomes easier if there are any interim processes to accommodate or understand such a situation.

Sharad Bhardwaj is a content analyst at SoftwareSuggest. He loves to advise and help people. In leisure time he likes to be involved in sports activities and listening to music.

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