Five Ways to Reduce Employee Absences


Employee absences can spell disaster for companies. Not only can it cost companies financially, but it can also ruin reputations. Focusing time and efforts on implementing measures to alleviate issues leading to absenteeism would be well worth it.

Here are five ways in which you can help to reduce employee absences in your business.

1. Focus on wellbeing

While wellbeing might be a bit of a buzz word right now, that is for good reason. Physical health has long been something that people have felt comfortable discussing, mental health has been a different story altogether. So, focusing efforts on overall wellbeing, incorporating both physical and mental, thus reducing any stigma, will support all employees to feel better and open up more. Putting measures in place to support workers’ health will definitely be worthwhile. Little things, such as providing tea and coffee or ensuring all rest rooms have emergency supplies available will mean a lot to your employees.

2. Offer incentives

When it comes to creating a positive working environment where few employees have time off, incentives can be helpful. Of course, you want people to work for you because you have a great reputation and offer fantastic opportunities, but you can take that one step further by considering what else you could offer. Many businesses choose to invest in health care insurance, helping their employees to get the absolute best care should they fall ill. Dental care is another consideration, too.

3. Prevention is better than a cure

Putting measures in place to better protect your workers is imperative. Looking at risk management, including detailed and regular risk assessments, is a must. All roles within all industries come with their own risks. For example, just because someone works in a small office with no face-to-face contact with customers does not mean that there are not potential dangers that should be minimized. Ensuring correct desk chair and monitor heights are a minimum expectation. Furthermore, encouraging regular screen breaks is certainly advisable, preventing migraine headaches and muscle tension.

4. Communicate your absence policy

Having an absence policy is one thing, but if it is not communicated effectively with your employees, it might as well not exist. If your workers are clear on what is expected of them regarding absences and what will happen if there are persistent spells of illness or other types of absence from work, they may be less likely to take time off. Furthermore, for the policy to be effective, it is imperative that you and your HR team follow it clearly, showing that action will be taken wherever necessary.

5. Consider flexible working conditions

The recent Covid-19 pandemic has proven that flexible working can work with a little give and take from all involved. Therefore, it should be considered for workers, particularly those who have other things going on in their lives outside of work, such as those who are parents of young children or carers for elderly relatives or family members who are ill. Offering flexible working hours, still expecting the same level of commitment, can make a dramatic difference to workers’ attendance records.

The views expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of The World Financial Review.