Did you know that nearly 3 percent of the labor force failed to show up to work on any given day in 2018. This may not seem like much, but when you factor in the cost of employee absenteeism, a different picture emerges. On average, the financial losses that arise from employee absences can be more than $40 billion every year. An even more alarming statistic reported by the CDC states that the loss of productivity due to missed work can cost employers $225.8 billion, each year. In this article, we are going to take a look at the underlying issues that result in high rates of absenteeism in the workplace; we’ll also discuss possible solutions that can help in effective absence management.
What Are the Causes of Employee Absenteeism in Middle Market Companies?
To resolve the problem of absenteeism, we must understand what causes employees to skip work in the first place. In some cases, the absence is legitimate (for instance, taking a leave from work due to medical or personal issues). In other cases, there is no genuine cause for the absence. On the whole, some of the biggest determinants of employee absenteeism in middle-market companies include:
- Health-related illnesses
- Issues with leadership and low morale
- Lack of job satisfaction
- Excessively rigid management styles
- Family issues
- Job demands and employee burnout
- Personality characteristics
- Social and demographic factors
What Can You Do?
If your organization is struggling with a high absenteeism rate, then you can take the following initiatives to help resolve the problem:
1. Encourage Employee Engagement
The first thing that you need to focus on is increasing the level of employee engagement. Engaged employees feel motivated to work harder and are less likely to take a leave of absence from work. This automatically translates into organizational success. Popular employee engagement activities include:
- Seeking input from employees on solving organizational problems
- Developing training programs that focus on the technical and personal growth of employees
- Encouraging transparency when communicating
2. Introduce Health Promotion Programs
Introducing health promotion programs can also contribute to effective absence management. These programs are designed to educate employees about avoiding health risks, as well as promoting fitness. Some key areas that you can focus on include:
- Stress management
- Encouraging physical activity
- Managing obesity
- Reducing the consumption of alcohol, tobacco, and substance abuse
- Improving nutrition
Introducing such programs can be very beneficial in reducing employee absenteeism. A study conducted in 2013 found that employees who took part in wellness programs missed fewer days of work as opposed to those who did not participate.
3. Provide Assistance to Employees in Balancing Their Work-Life
This is another critical aspect of managing a high rate of absenteeism in the workplace. An employee that can manage their personal and professional life is likely to be more motivated and driven. They will also feel more appreciative of the organization for accommodating them. Some typical examples of helping an employee in balancing their work-life include:
- Flexible working schedules
- Working from home
- Sharing responsibilities with another employee
- Childcare support programs
Introducing work-life balance initiatives can be expensive for middle-market companies. However, there are many long-term benefits of such programs. Not only do they reduce absenteeism, but they also contribute to effective employee retention.
Let’s Sum It Up:
Effective absence management plays a vital role in improving employee productivity and achieving organizational success. In most cases, employee absenteeism can be attributed to a lack of job satisfaction, leadership styles, and employee burnout. These factors are deeply rooted in the policies and culture of an organization and need to be addressed immediately. If organizations manage to address these problems in a timely manner, then they can retain employees in the long-term while lowering the cost of absenteeism.
Need help in employee retention? Head over to Go4ROI for more solutions on managing your middle-market business.