Employee absenteeism is an issue that many employers deal with every day. Whether it be an employee phoning in at the last possible moment, or not bothering to send notice of a future absence, it is very prevalent in all forms of work. This is an issue that can certainly disrupt business. Dealing with employee absenteeism can have employers feeling disrespected, and even can make them very frustrated. However, there are many ways that absenteeism can be dealt with in a respectable manner to both the employer and employee, so as to not discredit either party with unfair and/or premature assumptions (there is no need for an absent employee witch hunt!).
In her article, Jennifer Post of Business News Daily provides some insight on preventing employee absenteeism by suggesting a smart and concise time-off policy for your business. Primarily, Post highlights what should be included in your policy. This includes defining expected business hours, writing a clear description of paid and unpaid leave, explaining the policy for phoning in, and clearly defining the consequences for violating the policy. Further, Post emphasizes the need to stay legally conscientious. This means not denying employee absence for any reason, treating employees fairly in this area, and seeking advice and consultation from HR professionals(such as Kiy HR Services), to review your policy. Finally, Post stresses the importance of tracking and handling employee absences. If you suspect absenteeism, first conduct an internal audit; try and understand and identify the cause of this absenteeism before approaching the employee. This portrays respect toward the employee, and gives them the benefit of the doubt without dismissing them. Post also suggests to review the company’s attitude towards absenteeism, and to approach the employee as such.
In our Kiy HR Perspective, we believe employee absenteeism is a very prominent issue that affects business, workplace morale, and company costs; it should be dealt with in a concise and respectful manner. We advise creating a policy that clearly indicates all that Jennifer Post stated in her article. Creating a clear and concise policy for expected employee hours helps the employees to understand exactly what you as an employer expect from them in terms of absences, paid/unpaid leave, and phoning in. Employees will adhere to this policy, especially if there are consequences to their actions, and they know exactly what steps will be taken for any violations. Another important document to address the hours of each position in the organization is in the position description. If done correctly, the position description will be agreed to by the employee to ensure that there is a clear understanding of expectations.
It is also very important that you consult an HR professional when creating a new policy. This step is crucial, as it guarantees your rules and regulations are legally compliant. The last thing you want to be as an employer is liable. When approaching employees about their absences, it is common for employers to “be out for blood”. Absenteeism is a short-tempered issue, and employers may have very little patience for it. Yet, it pays to be patient with employees; gaining majorly in the respect and trust departments. Understanding and working with your employees instead of blaming them goes a long way, and is very effective in dealing with these issues.
The Kiy HR Perspective