Absenteeism is a growing problem, and one that can have a big impact on small businesses. Not only does it cause losses, but it also affects employee morale - as other employees are forced to compensate and take on additional responsibilities.

It is best to get out in front of the issue of absenteeism, rather than waiting for it to actually become a problem. That is how this checklist can help you to deal with employee absenteeism proactively:

  1. Have a written employee attendance policy in place

Every small business should have a written employee attendance policy that clears sets out what is expected of employees. It should be fair and consider the fact that some absenteeism may be for valid reasons.

The policy should outline what will be done in cases of chronic absenteeism. If employee monitoring software such as WorkExaminer is used to track attendance and other activity, its use should be outlined in the policy as well.

2. Try to identify the cause

If an employee shows signs of chronic absenteeism, the first step should be to try to identify the cause. That doesn’t just mean the reason for their most recent absence, but rather the reason for its frequency.

The data from WorkExaminer can act as an attendance record to identify them and punish employees if need be. On top of that by tracking other computer activity while the employee is at work, it could provide a deeper insight into their overall productivity levels.

3.  Start addressing the problem early and consistently

It is best to start addressing chronic absenteeism early. If there is a valid cause and something can be done about it – you should try to solve the issue that way.

However if there is no solid reason behind their absence, you should immediately let them know what action will be taken – based on your policy. Ideally the policy should be flexible enough to provide different types of action depending on the severity of the issue.

For example if WorkExaminer shows that employees frequently are ‘no shows’, late, and waste lots of time on work – more severe action may be necessary.

4.  Track data and keep records of employee attendance and activities

Already you should be able to see how having data from WorkExaminer at your disposal can help you address absenteeism more effectively. It is important that you keep that data as a record to ‘prove’ the issue – should you ever need to.

Additionally the web access reports and computer activity records in WorkExaminer could provide additional proof and should be kept as well.

5.  Show appreciation for good attendance

As much as it is important to crack down on absenteeism, you should use WorkExaminer to also track employees that do not have an issue with absenteeism, and are always on time and productive. That behavior should be rewarded as a form of positive reinforcement that shows your appreciation.

If you act quickly and proactively based on the checklist above, your business can avoid most of the impact of absenteeism. Not only will you be able to tackle the problem itself, but your employees satisfaction levels on the whole should be much higher.

 

Published by Kristin Perry