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How to Effectively Manage Employee Absences?


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Employee absenteeism does not include scheduled, planned and allocated leaves. It refers to an unplanned absence without a valid reason. Some employees are often absent at the workplace. It reduces your organization’s productivity. How do you control and manage employee absenteeism?

Try to Find the Cause

Do not assume you know why someone often remains absent at the workplace. Some employees will be forthcoming in explaining their issues. At the same time, some employees who remain absent will be evasive because their reasons may not be valid according to your organisation’s official absence policy. Take into account all these factors when assessing the cause of the absence. Employee absenteeism is caused by personal or family reasons, stress, injury, an ongoing illness, or burnout, among others. Many of these causes can be solved with planning and support. Discuss these measures with the concerned employees and offer them support services.

Establish Programs to Control the Known Causes

Some causes that lead to absence of employees can be controlled and managed if you plan early. Establish health and wellness programs to prevent common health issues among your employees. Take a safety audit of your workplace to prevent accidents and injuries. Implement safety, sanitary and health measures to prevent common health illnesses that originate at the workplace.

Offer scheduled holidays so the employees can recover and come back refreshed. An annual holiday leave for a few days to a holiday destination is an excellent idea. Employees can be encouraged to participate in recreational activities after their job hours. Individuals suffering from anxiety and depression due to family, illness or career issues can be provided help from the experts.

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Make your employment and workplace policies clear to every employee so there is no ambiguity about your actions. Pay the promised salary on time and offer overtime compensation. These initiatives will reduce employee absenteeism.

Offer Flexible Hours

Employees with babies, ailing parents, or other work commitments benefit from flexible hours. Those who earn less due to a single job try to supplement their income with other jobs. All such individuals prefer flexible job hours. The productivity level increases when employees work fewer hours. Jobs that can be completed remotely can be offered to employees looking for flexible working hours. Offer work from home options to reduce absenteeism. Use remote workforce management tools to ensure your remote employees are logged in to the work system during the working hours.

Make Your Leave Policy Clear

Your organisation must have a clear leave policy. Employees should know when they can take leaves, how long they can remain absent from the workplace, and how much leave they can take for emergency situations. Some organisations have gone a step ahead and offer unlimited leaves. On the face of it, it may seem drastic but experience shows that responsible employees take only the necessary leaves even under these programs. They want to contribute to the growth of the organisation, gain experience while working, and remain the top contender when the time comes for promotion. The flexible leave policy lets them take leave when they need it most.


Use an employee management HR software program to keep a record of your employees. The program will help you identify the employees taking unnecessary, unplanned and excessive leaves. You can offer them support or take disciplinary measures. If an employee regularly remains absent without valid reasons, you can even take the tough decision of removing that person from employment and hiring another candidate. Encourage your employees to provide you feedback on your leave policies. Learn why someone remains absent from work. These strategies will help you manage employee absence and increase productivity at the workplace.

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