When an employee absents from work habitually and frequently, over and above the paid leaves and other occasional leaves that the employer grants, it is treated as absenteeism by the organization. HR consultants opine that, although every organization expects a certain number of absent days from its employees, excessive absenteeism of an employee decreases the productivity, impacts the finances of the organization and more importantly affects the morale of the coworkers.
Human resources consultancy experts suggest that organizations should first identify the causes of absenteeism so as to understand why it is happening and then think of measures to reduce it. Here are some common reasons that can be attributed to absenteeism.
Stress: There could be various reasons for an employee’s stress and whether they are personal or professional, the employee may find it difficult to cope in the workplace under stress and hence opt to abstain from work.
Harassment: HR consultants say, getting bullied or harassed by someone in the office is a major factor that drives employees to absent themselves from work to avoid any kind of unpleasant situations.
Personal commitments: The responsibilities of the employee in personal life like taking care of parents or family members may also lead to absenteeism.
Lack of motivation: Low morale among employees due to lack of motivation and appreciation for work done is also a major cause of absenteeism among many.
With the reason of absenteeism identified, organizations can work on the below-given measures to reduce absenteeism.
Clear Policy: The first thing to do according to the HR consultants is, creating a clear attendance policy with a set of expectations for each and every employee. The policy should cover the way absence should be reported and measures to take on repeated absences.
Strong Recruitment Strategy: While recruiting itself, the organization should verify through various means how the candidate is and what kind of dedication the candidate has towards the organization. It is advised by the HR consulting firms to verify the work history of the candidate to check if there is any kind of absenteeism with the previous employers. It is also necessary to assess if the social skills and values of the candidate are aligned to the role in the organization to avoid undue work pressure in the future.
Discussion with Employee: Engaging in an open and fair one-on-one discussion with the employees with questions about their absenteeism will help in understanding the employees’ reason for disinterest in work. Enquiring them properly regarding their personal and professional interests and the issues they are facing at home or office will help in identifying the solution to minimize absenteeism. It is observed many times that an employee’s performance gets affected due to personal issues as well and a little support from the organization can help him/her deal with it and get back on track.
Work Environment: It’s important for every organization to provide a work-friendly environment to its employees that gives only positive pressure to improve productivity and makes the employees feel comfortable and happy at the workplace. Team-building activities help in engaging employees and reducing absenteeism to a great extent.
Different task: In situations when an employee is unable to cope up with the work pressure or unable to handle the task given, there are chances of absenteeism. To avoid this, the team leaders should regularly monitor their team members’ work and if necessary assign them a different task to reduce stress levels and augment interest in the work.
Organizations should monitor the employees’ performance and their interest in the work regularly to identify any deviations and rectify them appropriately on time. By hiring experienced human resources consultancy professionals, organizations can avoid grave consequences of unchecked absenteeism.