You have probably identified the main abilities that define a good employee for your company. You have recruited the right individuals and trained them accordingly, so these issues are successfully handled. But then, everything becomes history if your employees start missing. You are probably not absurd, so you can easily understand and plan vacations. But what do you do about absenteeism? Missing employees will drastically improve your expenses, so this phenomenon is never to be ignored. In order to ensure that you only pay real employees, evaluate your expenses and look for phantom workers. However, there are situations when these phantoms are simply not too visible.
Someone for nothing
If you have a hundred employees and 6% of them miss on a regular basis, you do not have to be a genius to realize that you pay six individuals for doing nothing. While the costs might split between multiple employees, the final expenses cover not less than six workers. In other words, if you reduce the absenteeism rate to 2%, you basically end up with four extra employees without paying a single coin. If the salaries represent up to 50% of your monthly expenses, you can reduce the overall costs with 2%. Can a 2% cost reduction double up your profit? If you use the savings by the book, it will.
The absenteeism costs are not all about wasted salaries only. Even if those workers are not there, the job still has to be completed. In order to avoid altering the production, there are other individuals who have to cover the missing ones, leading to some extra costs. But do they have the right abilities? They end up feeling frustrated, so sooner or later, they will start missing too, whether they blame their absence on a cold or an emergency.
The provoked sickness
Absenteeism can be widely spread in some organizations. A friend of mine has recently told me that once he got hired by a large corporation, he was properly trained on these things by one of his colleagues. The informal training included some helpful advice too. He was told that he has around four weeks of vacation and two weeks of being on sick leave. Even if he did not want to respect this rule, he was advised to avoid unmasking everyone by working more than his colleagues. Unsurprisingly, the company had multiple offices spread around Europe, so it was not just a random small business.
Tough, but fair
A different friend of mine who was leading a large corporation has recently decided to evaluate the personal performance and statistics. The conclusion was obvious – the company has simply reached too far. He has decided to attack the unacceptable rate of absenteeism in a positive manner by offering decent support to the employers who actually got sick. On a different note, he became extremely tough with those who decided to fake their illnesses, only to get some free days.
The first step was fairly simple. He monitored and analysed the absenteeism in the attempt to identify the problem. Various behavioural patterns became obvious overnight. Younger employees chose to skip the weekend days. On the other hand, young parents had the tendency to get sick during school vacations, only to enjoy some quality time with their kids. Last, but not least, some workers decided to feel sick right before going on vacation, only to come up with more free time in one shot. This is when everything changed.
This is important
All employees were notified that absenteeism will always be monitored, while such incidents will be properly evaluated. Any of these situations will be discussed during the yearly evaluation of each employee. The evaluation was introduced with the one and only purpose to prevent such problems.
We do care
My manager friend has also given the supervisors more responsibilities. Whoever missed a day was asked to join an interview and explain the situation. The absenteeism motif was recorded. If one employee missed a day because they did not feel well, they were asked about the case. Did they reach to a doctor? Do they have a prescription? Are they ready to get back to work? Do they take any treatments? Are there any side effects that might alter the working status?
When preparing such interviews, supervisors are supposed to double check the previous cases of absenteeism, only to take the right measures. For instance, if there are similar cases of flu in the past, it might be a good idea for the respective employee to get a vaccine. Of the other hand, if someone needs to be on sick leave for an extended period of time, the supervisor will pay a visit in order to evaluate the situation.
As if all these were not enough, the company pays for the extra consultations and basic treatments if the support from the insurance company is not enough.
We will react
Disciplinary measures are very harsh if any abuses are noticed during these evaluations. Unsurprisingly for me, my friend agreed that everything has changed within the first year. A few such evaluations and warnings were more than enough to transmit a clear message – unjustified absenteeism is not tolerated. It might seem funny, but some of his workers have actually started denouncing the colleagues who kept getting free days on a regular basis. Their frustration was simply too high and mostly because of the extra work they were supposed to handle.
How to reduce the absenteeism within your company
There are a few basic ideas to help you out in this venture. Applying them overtime will drastically reduce the absenteeism.
- Double check the absenteeism rate, as well as the frequency. Even if these numbers are small, your company may still have some weeds here and there.
- Come up with your own action plan in order to ensure that your employees match your goals and necessities.