Absence makes the heart grow fonder’ – well not in the business environment it doesn’t!

In today’s stretched workplace, absence is still a major problem. The average employee clocks up around 7 days of absence a year, according to the latest figures from the CIPD. It’s not just about pulling ‘sickies’ – it’s lateness, long breaks and sneaking off early.

Are you signing off too many sickies? Are you regularly left short-staffed?

Here's 5 Tips for why you should keep track of absent staff:

1. Measure it

Record absence and regularly highlight it to managers and supervisors. The quicker you alert your managers, the quicker they can deal with it appropriately. The old adage that you can’t manage what you can’t measure is absolutely true in the case of absence management.

2. Return to work interviews

Return to work interviews are particularly effective in quickly understanding the reasons for absence. Speed of interview is important so consider an automated prompt to highlight exactly when an employee has returned.

3. Offer flexibility

Allowing employees more control over their schedules and the ability to select and swap shifts at short notice is guaranteed to reduce absenteeism.

4. Give options

Consider offering unpaid leave or options to buy more holiday time. Planned absence is always easier for a business to manage than unscheduled absence. Give staff the opportunity to book off a number of days unpaid or give them the chance to buy additional holidays at the start of the year.

5. Prioritise

Make controlling absence a business priority. There’s no excuse not to keep on top of it. Business tools are now widely available to control and monitor absence levels and trends in real-time – you can even set the parameters to alert you to all unscheduled absence the moment it happens. 

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