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7 Steps To Reduce Employee Absenteeism

7 Steps To Reduce Employee Absenteeism
7 Steps To Reduce Employee Absenteeism

Employee absenteeism is a significant issue costing more than $35 billion in wages and lost productivity per annum according to Randstad. Some employees may be regularly absent while others may only be absent due to illness or other unforeseen circumstances.

While reducing absenteeism can be a difficult issue to manage, following these steps may help:

1.Implement an attendance policy

Crafting a reasonable policy may encourage employees to follow its principles, thereby reducing general absenteeism. The policy should include timelines and processes your business will follow when employees are absent. The policy may require a Medical Certificate to be provided. By creating this policy and sharing it to all employees, awareness of the business requirements will improve and streamline processes when employees are absent.

2.Continue to share and discuss the attendance policy

When the attendance policy is first implemented, employers should consider a continuous engagement plan for employees. Including a short discussion about the policy at set periods throughout the year, employees will be reminded of their obligations.

3.Monitor absences

Keeping track of absences allows employers to consider any specific actions and highlights trends or potential future issues. Record keeping can be completed through timesheet software, applications, or manual systems. Periodic review of the records is crucial to reducing overall absenteeism.

4.Address instances of absenteeism as they occur

Any absences by employees should prompt a discussion about their circumstances. For prolonged absences, employers should ensure to promptly schedule a meeting to discuss the reasons for the absence. Further, according to Davidson Morris conducting positive return-to-work interviews with employees can reduce absenteeism and aid in transition back into the workplace.

5.Attempt to understand the cause of the absenteeism

Understanding the cause of the absenteeism may offer greater benefits for business. By uncovering the trends or reasons why employees are regularly absent or late, employers may be able to change the circumstances which contribute to the issue. For example, a parent may be unable to access childcare on certain days or at certain times, thereby, offering the employer an opportunity to offer flexible working arrangements. This is likely to improve the relationship between employer and employee, thus improving future productivity.

6.Reward employees for regular attendance

Rewarding employees who are not regularly absent is important for organisational culture. Offering those employees entertainment vouchers, bonuses or other opportunities is a positive way of creating a strong culture and commitment to work.

7.Create a motivating culture

Creating a positive, motivating and supportive culture is an important part of managing employee absenteeism. Employees should feel valued and engaged, be encouraged to take leave and maintain a balance between professional and personal lives. Empowering employees through skills development, regular constructive feedback and acknowledge achievements and efforts are all important aspects of organisational culture.


Employee absenteeism is a significant issue for businesses. Organisations can reduce absenteeism by implementing and engaging employees in an attendance policy, and monitoring and reviewing absenteeism records. Addressing the causes of absenteeism in employee circumstances can positively impact the future of the organisation through greater flexibility or supports for common issues. Ultimately, creating and maintaining a culture that motivates and rewards employees will significantly reduce absenteeism.