employee absenteeism

5 Ways to Develop Communication Around Employee Absenteeism

Businesses want their workers to feel and perform their best. Yet, employee absenteeism remains problematic for many companies across the United States.

Absenteeism occurs when personnel frequently miss work. The issue can happen for personal or medical reasons. Regardless, it can hamper workplace productivity, result in revenue losses, and cause other short- and long-term business problems.

Research indicates that approximately three percent of the U.S. workforce is absent on any given day. An absent employee cannot support a company’s operations. As such, the business, its workforce, and its customers can suffer the consequences of even a single employee’s absence.

Ultimately, there is no surefire solution to cure employee absenteeism. However, HR professionals who can manage absenteeism in the workplace are well-equipped to deal with this problem. Best of all, these professionals can educate workers about absenteeism and ensure that they can minimize its impact.

The Importance of Educating Employees

Communication can dictate a company’s culture, particularly when it comes to employee absenteeism. Why? Because if a business builds and maintains a culture that promotes open and honest communication, it can ensure that its employees know what to do if they need to miss work. At the same time, these employees will not feel anxious or worried about taking time off. Rather, workers can follow the proper protocols to notify appropriate stakeholders and ensure that the business can stay on track until they return.

HR professionals play important roles in teaching employees about absenteeism. With the right approach, these professionals can teach employees about a company’s absenteeism protocols. HR professionals can respond to concerns and questions about these protocols and verify that employees know how to follow them. Plus, they can develop and leverage clear, concise, and accurate communications to keep workers up to date regarding absenteeism.

Tips to Educate Employees About Absenteeism

Here are five tips to help HR professionals teach workers about absenteeism.

1. Collect and Analyze Data

Retrieve weekly time reports and other workplace statistics to understand employee absenteeism. HR professionals can track excused and unexcused worker absenteeism and use an absenteeism formula to assess the issue’s impact on their business. From here, HR professionals can use analytics tools to get the most value out of their absenteeism data. Once HR pros generate insights, they can share them with workers. This allows employees to understand the prevalence of absenteeism across their organization. In addition, it enables HR professionals to set the stage for employees to do their part to correct the problem.

2. Let Employees Provide Feedback

Use questionnaires and surveys to get employees’ perspectives on absenteeism. Employees can then share their feedback on why they miss work and how they feel about their organization’s absenteeism policies. Meanwhile, HR professionals can leverage employee questionnaires and surveys to fine-tune their absenteeism communications. For instance, HR pros may discover many workers are struggling with burnout. This sense of hopelessness with their jobs can lead to absenteeism. In this instance, they can educate employees about burnout and how to guard against it. Or, HR pros may find employees often show up to work even when they are too sick or distracted to be productive. If this occurs, they can teach their workers about presenteeism (where people show up to work even if they’re sick) and the dangers associated with it.

3. Discuss Absenteeism

Host meetings with workers to share details about absenteeism policies at your organization. The meetings enable HR professionals and employees to learn from one another. Initially, HR pros can provide insights into absenteeism and how employees should notify their superiors if they need to miss work. They can explain the differences between excused and unexcused absences and define other employee absenteeism terms and phrases as well. Furthermore, employees can use these meetings to share their thoughts and opinions with HR pros regarding absenteeism. They can also gain insights into how their organization can keep workers happy, healthy, and productive.

4. Be Proactive

Dedicate the time, energy, and resources necessary to educate workers about absenteeism. HR professionals should review any communications regarding absenteeism before they are sent to employees. This allows HR pros to verify that the communications are easy to understand and provide timely and relevant information to workers. HR pros should provide regular updates regarding employee absenteeism, too. This allows workers to stay in the loop about any changes to a company’s absenteeism policies.

5. Keep the Lines of Communication Open

Remain accessible to employees and ensure they can get insights into absenteeism issues at any time. HR professionals can encourage workers to reach out with any concerns or questions regarding their company’s employee absenteeism policies.

The Bottom Line: HR Professionals and Employees Can Work Together to Combat Absenteeism

Together, HR professionals and employees can help organizations remain safe, productive, and efficient. HR pros can communicate absenteeism policies to employees and workers can comply with them. As a result, HR pros and workers can minimize employee absenteeism and increase work satisfaction levels overall.