Ways to Reduce Absenteeism
Since most absenteeism is a result of non-illness related events, employers can control approximately 60% of employee absenteeism. Obviously, an employer cannot improve absenteeism due to personal reasons, but an employer can directly influence the other four main causes of absenteeism through the following initiatives.
1. Increase employee motivation.
This is easier said than done, but it can be accomplished by enhancing the intrinsic motivation employees receive from their job by making production goals more realistic, increasing desirable job responsibilities, and improving working conditions. An employer can also increase extrinsic motivation by implementing a type of recognition or reward program.
2. Enhance job satisfaction.
Job satisfaction is influenced by many employment factors. However, the best way to improve employee satisfaction is to reduce workplace stressors to make working conditions more enjoyable and consistently provide honest and meaningful feedback and praise.
3. Implement a job rotation or job enlargement strategy.
One of the reasons employees are frequently absent is lack of challenging work due to repetition, boredom, and burnout. A way that employers can improve an employee’s perspective of his or her position is to provide opportunities to rotate among jobs and to gain more skills and knowledge in an area of personal and professional interest.
4. Reward and discipline employees for increased or decreased absenteeism.
Although this may seem elementary, the reward/punishment motive is still an effective way to influence absenteeism rates in organizations. If a financial or recognition-based reward is attached to instances of decreased absenteeism, employees that are motivated to receive the reward will have fewer instances of absenteeism and strive to achieve attendance goals. Furthermore, employees that are motivated to avoid consequences positively react to this type of strategy.
5. Allow employees to utilize a modified work schedule.
Since some absenteeism is a result of personal-related matters, providing employees the opportunity to be flexible in their schedules, occasionally or permanently, helps employees feel more able to balance their work and personal life. Flex time, or modified work schedules, can range in degrees of formality and type, so the flexibility can be easily controlled by an employer.