In America, annual costs relating to loss of productivity due to employee absence are estimated at $84 billion. When you are running a high risk company, it is important to keep employee absence to a minimum, so that it doesn’t have a financial impact. Increasing your business profits means having staff that you can rely on, that are committed to your company.
Measuring and Monitoring Absence
If you want to reduce staff absence, it is important to involve metrics, so you can calculate the percentage of working hours that are lost. Industry specialists Advance Systems Inc recommend trying to establishing a pattern with absence problems. If you can identify a pattern, then you can pinpoint what you need to do to change this; for instance you may notice that a member of staff calls in sick only on Mondays. They may be genuinely unwell, but there may be another reason for this repetitive absence from work. Frequent short term absence can put strain on other members of staff, and the day-to-day operations of your company. In a high risk industry, it is important to identify business weakness as soon as possible, especially if profits fluctuate, or are seasonal.
Streamline absence reporting
You should have a strict policy within your company of how absence is recorded. It is not a good idea for staff to text in, if they are going to be off work. Neither is leaving a message with reception adequate. If an employee needs to report their own absence, then they should speak directly with their manager, giving a clear and valid explanation of why they are unable to come into work, and when they are expecting to return to work. Don’t make it easy for employees to take unnecessary duvet days. Make sure that your company has a policy of when absence should be recorded – for instance, within 30 minutes of working time. It should be made clear that if the absence recording policy isn’t adhered to, then it is a disciplinary offence. You should consistently stick to this policy, so that everyone is treated fairly, and your business doesn’t suffer.
Return to work interviews
A return to work interview means that a manager can monitor the reason for absence, and work out if it’s going to reoccur in the future. It is an important part of looking after your staff, and a good, informal way of having a conversation about staff absence. You can discuss the reason, and ask relevant questions. For instance, if it was due to illness, whether they have visited the doctor, or it is going to have an impact on their work. It is a good idea to establish too if the reason for absence had anything to do with work, for instance bullying, harassment or stress. You can use the interview as an opportunity to discuss any further action.
Reducing employee absence in your business means increasing profits. You are looking after your staff and looking after your company.