HR Advice: Reducing Absenteeism in the Workplace
Each year, UK companies lose approximately £554 per employee because of absenteeism, according to recent research. The average employee takes 6.9 days off sick, and this costs the economy around £100 billion.
With winter fast approaching, absenteeism immediately becomes more of a likelihood. The question is – what measures can you take to reduce absence in the workplace?
Identifying the Root Causes
Calling in sick is sometimes unavoidable; whether it’s due to injury, illness, or family issues. However, certain factors make employees more likely to stay away from work; and as an employer, it’s important to know what these are, and what measures you can take to reduce absence. An HR expert will be able to help you with this.
Common Contributing Factors
- Low staff morale. If the mood is low in the office, this has a knock-on effect on staff attitude. Productivity often suffers as a result, and absenteeism becomes more likely. The best way to identify low morale is to arrange regular employee meetings to monitor contentment in the workplace – again, this is where an HR professional can come in handy, as a member of staff is more likely to confide in them.
- Lack of flexibility. Flexible working is becoming increasingly popular, with many employees favouring working arrangements that let them successfully manage both their career and home-life. If your working conditions are perceived as inflexible (for no good reason), this may impact staff attitude to work, making them more likely to ‘pull a sickie’. Consider ways in which you can give your employees greater working flexibility, without impacting overall output.
- Underlying issues. If your employee doesn’t feel happy at work, it’s more probable that they’ll be absent. There are a variety of reasons why a member of staff might not feel content in their job; for example, if they’re experiencing bullying in the workplace, or feel that their hard work isn’t being recognised. It’s the job of an HR professional to identify these issues and suggest practical solutions, before they develop into large-scale problems.
- Perceived lack of fairness. As an employer, it’s your job to treat staff fairly and equally. In fact, failure to do so could be construed as discriminatory, which is an offence in the eyes of the law. When staff feel that they’re being treated unfairly, they’re likely to be less enthusiastic about their job, and may absent themselves from work as a result.
- Lack of enthusiasm. If your employee no longer feels engaged or stimulated by their job, this will inevitably impact productivity, and increase absenteeism. An HR expert will be able to suggest ways in which you can reignite enthusiasm in the workplace (e.g. through training or incentives), and thus reduce the number of days called in sick.
Reducing Sick Days with Professional HR Services
If you’re concerned about the level of absenteeism in the office and want to take action, working with an HR professional can assist. Harris Law are qualified HR specialists in the South-west, and we’re here to help you to implement positive changes in the workplace, leading to better employee engagement, increased productivity, and less time and money wasted through absenteeism. To find out more, simply call us on 01803 861086 today.