Practically every business in Ireland has that one employee who is absent a lot of the time. They have a number of different excuses for this, although none really reflect on the underlying issue – that you have a business to run and clients to work with, and work just doesn’t get completed properly when employees repeatedly call in sick. There are a number of reasons why your employees may not be attending work, including issues at home and even burn out.
Thankfully, there are some good solutions that can help you solve your employee absenteeism problem and get everything back on track. Here are some steps to help..
The Main Problem with Employee Absenteeism
Did you know that employee absenteeism costs your business money?
For every employee who is absent, you lose approximately €2,000 to €4,000, depending on whether or not the employee is hourly or salaried. That really adds up when you’re dealing with an employee who skips work at least once per week, and it’s even worse when you have multiple employees who decide not to come into the office.
This is why it’s best to find out the root cause of the absenteeism and develop some good solutions.
Why Employees Are Absent
Employee absenteeism can occur for any number of reasons. Many of them have good solutions. It’s all about communicating with your missing employee to find out why they really aren’t coming in to work. This communication is the key to finding ways to keep your workforce engaged and in the office.
Burn Out and Stress
Burn out happens. It can be avoided, but many people don’t have the self-care skills available (or the time to use them) in order to prevent themselves from burning out.
Stress is another main cause of absent employees. When employees get stressed out, they become less productive and some may even end up getting sick quite a bit. This leads to them being out of the workplace, and the job simply doesn’t get done. These two things tend to go hand in hand, as too much stress can lead to burn out.
Your Hours Just Aren’t Flexible
Some employees prefer to work flexible hours. They might have family issues that they need to deal with (see below) or are from a culture that doesn’t have a set work day.
As a result, they’ll have trouble adjusting and working a typical nine to five Irish workdays. This is where flexible hours come into play. If you can set things up using HR software to ensure that all of the crucial shifts are covered and employees can work the hours that they need when they need them, this can go a long way towards solving your absent employee issue.
Family issues are another cause of this problem. When your employees end up having sick parents, ill children, or even problems with their spouses, they don’t come into work. This is particularly true of cases where the parents or children need someone to take care of them, and there is no one else capable of doing it besides the employee.
These situations cannot be helped, but you might be able to find a workable solution by talking to your employee. You’d be surprised at how some flexible hours will help in these situations.
Sometimes you end up with workers who just don’t get along.
If there’s a lot of discord between them, then it makes sense that the bullied worker would stop coming into work. Issues between employees can lead to a loss of productivity, among other things.
The best thing to do in this situation is step in between the employees and get to the root of the problem. You can either schedule those workers on separate shifts so that they aren’t in the same place at the same time or even put them on different projects.
Either way, something must be done before the situation gets worse.
What You Can Do
Now that you know why employee absenteeism occurs, it’s time to find some solutions.
For example, if the problem is burn out and stress, then you could give your employees a break in the middle of the workday, top of their lunch period. Encourage them to relax. You might also want to hire a few additional employees, if you can, to spread the work around a bit and make your workplace less stressful.
Another good option lies in flexible scheduling. When you have good time management software in place, your employees will be able to work on a schedule that best suits them – as long as they get their work done, of course. This type of scheduling is in accordance with Irish labor laws, so it’s perfectly legal to use it.