Reducing the High Cost of Absenteeism

Employers pay a high price for absenteeism, often more than they may realize, in terms of both financial and production losses and employee morale. Managers may view the tasks of finding a substitute employee as a short-term inconvenience; however, absenteeism frequently has more serious long-term effects. Employers can, nevertheless, ensure that employees report in regularly and remain on the job.

Before employers can determine the best way to combat absenteeism, they must identify the organizational and individual factors that contribute to the problem. Among the most common potential problem areas employers need to explore are the following:

* Job satisfaction: Employees who like their job are more likely to come to work than those who find work unstimulating.

* Work attitude: Some employees come to work no matter how sick they feel, while others call in sick no matter how well they feel.

* Company culture: If management’s attitude is lax and absenteeism is accepted as a normal practice, the organization’s culture may have to be changed before attendance can be improved.

* Excessive rates of sick leave: As some insurance companies are now doing, employers need to monitor sick leave rates and reward employees who use fewer sick leaves.

Once you know the cause of absenteeism in your organization, it will become easy for you to correct, or minimize, the problem. But you have got to do your homework.

Remember: When you maximize your potential, everyone wins. When you don’t, we all lose.