Four Ways to Reduce Employee Absenteeism


People miss work for a variety of reasons, some are legitimate and some are not. Employers have expectations regarding workforce attendance each year, depending on the business industry this can include holidays and /or personal days. When employees do not meet attendance expectations and are habitually absent, issues may arise within the company in the form of decreased production, cost of replacement, etc. Here we examine four ways to reduce absenteeism within your workforce.

  1. Offer attractive and competitive compensation. According to a recent CareerBuilder survey, 65% of US workers are not earning their desired salary. Under those circumstances, it may not be surprising to see high absenteeism and low motivation in the workplace. Research shows that when offered more competitive wages, employee motivation increased and absenteeism decreased. Additionally, you won't have to worry about your employees running off to your industry competitor because they offered more money!
  2. Look at flexible scheduling. OSHA reports that employees required to work long hours are more likely to suffer workplace injuries due to lack of sufficient rest. Add personal life into that equation and the product is a high rate of absences. Similarly, unpredictable/inconsistent schedules also play a major role in absence rates. By paying close attention to shift hours and providing consistent schedules that are flexible to your employees' needs (think flex shifts/hours) you can drastically reduce your workforce absences.
  3. Communicate your attendance policies. Many companies forget to emphasize the importance of their attendance policies, which breeds confusion in the workplace. Make sure to highlight the exact parameters of your company's policies, stating what are acceptable absences and what are not. An important part of attendance policies is to have a thorough record system. Make sure to have good records of attendance on hand to discipline repeat offenders. While there are benefits to having good attendance, there are also consequences for habitual absences.
  4. Consider incentives as part of your attendance policies. On the note of the importance of keeping good attendance records mentioned above, reward the good stuff! Research shows that employees who feel appreciated at their workplace are more engaged, and an engaged employee is far less likely to skip out on work. Appreciation and reward of good attendance can be accomplished with something as simple as a pizza party after every thirty days (or more) or zero absences in a department. You WANT your employees to WANT to come into work, right? By rewarding model attendance, you are reinforcing that behavior.