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Clever ways of managing absence

How you can be clever at managing absence

With winter vastly approaching; absence will be on everyone’s minds as the cold draws in and more people are taking sick days. Sickness and transportation issues will be the most common reasoning behind those not attending work. Your business can be heavily impacted not only financially but also affecting staff morale and productivity. However, the question on your minds will be: Is there anything that can be done to prevent this from happening so often? The answer is yes! Clear absence policies and improving your employee’s well-being can help to prevent staff sickness; and an appropriate implementation of the policies through managers can also be key to the reduction.

Is communication that powerful?

The simple answer is yes, it will play a key role in staff absenteeism and it is important that your employees are aware of policies which are in place to outline obligations and responsibilities from both sickness and adverse weather.

  • Sickness. Employees need to be clear on the process to take when it comes to reporting their absence on the day. This includes, who to contact, how far in advance and by which method. At the time of reporting the employee should be able to suggest the length of time that the sickness should be whether this is short-term or long-term. It is important that throughout the sickness there is an appropriate level of communication between the employee and employer; to update them on the length and severity of the sickness throughout the period. Implementing a return-to-work interview after absences will allow you to help support your employees and in relation to long-term absence work out a way to prevent this from reoccurring.
  • Adverse weather. There are many factors which could influence an employee’s inability to attend work when it comes to the weather from issues with public transport, roads being closed, and school closures. An adverse weather policy will allow you as an employer to relay the company’s position on these types of absences. Although staff will not be entitled to pay automatically, it may be worth looking at other options to keep employee relations high; this could be through pay or even work-from-home options.
  • Absence Management. Management within the business will be important when it comes to the sickness of an employee and it is important that there are processes in place for managing the effect that the absence can have on the business and the employee’s colleagues. Immediate communication to those who are immediately affected is key and involving them in any decision-making for the allocation of work or the need for temporary cover (depending on the length of absence) will ensure that employees feel valued and that the business is managed correctly in such circumstances. Appropriate practices in recording the illness and analysing sick days will help you as an employer to gain valuable insight into the frequency of absence for individuals and departments and help you to identify and tackle any emerging or underlying issues.

If you would like to train your managers on dealing with absence then please contact us. 

By Sophie Rowland, 10/10/17