According to the American Institute of Stress (AIS), approximately 83% of workers suffer from job-related stress and miss work every day, costing businesses up to $300 billion a year.
These statistics reveal that employee absenteeism is a major issue for organizations. It affects project delivery, leading to budget and schedule overruns. This has huge financial repercussions for businesses.
Therefore, it is essential for organizations to take proactive measures to reduce employee absenteeism in the workplace. These course-corrective measures include competent resource allocation, optimal employee utilization, career development programs, etc.
This blog discusses key strategies to combat absenteeism and how SAVIOM’s ERM tool can help with the same.
Let’s get started!
2. Causes of employee absenteeism in an organization
Employee absenteeism refers to the consistent and unplanned pattern of an employee’s absence from work. It can occur due to various personal or professional reasons.
Some of the professional reasons are workplace stress, job dissatisfaction, and burnout. This can happen due to work overload, unrealistic deadlines, a lack of flexible working arrangements, career growth opportunities, etc. It can eventually lower productivity and cause disengagement among employees, leading to increased absenteeism.
Furthermore, when resources feel undervalued or unappreciated for their hard work, it can lower their morale and motivation. Hence, they tend to take frequent time-offs and unplanned leaves. In addition, personal reasons like chronic health issues, physical injuries, and mental health concerns can lead to employee absenteeism in the workplace.
Now that we understand the causes, let’s discuss ways to mitigate employee absenteeism.
3. 7 ways to reduce employee absenteeism
Here are seven effective ways managers can reduce workforce absenteeism in the workplace.
3.1 Ensure competent allocation of resources
When managers deploy less-experienced employees to critical projects, they may feel overwhelmed and encounter stress, burnout, etc. Contrarily, assigning skilled resources to low-priority tasks can lead to low morale and disengagement. In both situations, employees are more likely to be absent from work.
Therefore, it is essential for managers to allocate resources to projects based on their skills and qualifications. It will ensure that the right employees are working on the right project, which will improve their engagement and productivity levels, thereby reducing absenteeism.
3.2 Distribute the workload evenly across the enterprise
As per the American Psychological Association (APA) survey, employees who experience burnout have a 57% increased risk of workplace absence.
Employee burnout has become a concerning issue in organizations, contributing to frequent absenteeism. It mainly occurs due to overutilization of resources. To overcome this, managers must regularly track the employees’ utilization levels and identify the resources overloaded with work.
Accordingly, they can apply appropriate optimization techniques like resource smoothing and leveling, where the timelines can be adjusted, or additional employees can be added to share the extra workload. This ensures uniform work distribution, which helps maintain the resource health index and minimizes absenteeism.
3.3 Allow employees to choose projects of their interest
When organizations allocate resources whose skills and interests are not aligned with the project requirements, it can cause disengagement and lower productivity. If this continues for a long time, it results in unplanned absences. To mitigate this, managers can give the workforce a choice to select projects that align with their interests.
For this, managers can publish open positions mentioning their requirements across the organization, and employees with relevant skills can show their interest. After this, managers can assign the best-fit resource to the project. This will enhance employee engagement, and they will be less likely to skip work.
3.4 Facilitate individual development programs (IDP)
The continuous work stagnancy and lack of diverse opportunities make employees slowly lose interest in work and tend to be absent. To reduce this, managers can create individual development plans (IDPs) for employees. These plans assist in identifying skill gaps and enable employees to pursue targeted training initiatives aimed at skill enhancement.
This not only helps employees take on multifaceted projects and enhance their career portfolio but also improves their billability. Thus, creating an environment that fosters holistic development for employees will encourage a more work-driven talent pool, thereby minimizing the possibility of absenteeism.
3.5 Promote an inclusive and supportive workplace
Feelings of exclusion and a lack of a conducive environment can lead to employee stress and absenteeism. Therefore, organizations must foster a supportive environment that ensures equal opportunities for all resources, thereby improving employee productivity and performance.
For this, firms can implement diverse hiring practices, adopt transparent leave policies, offer equal pay for similar roles, etc. Besides, they can implement an open-door policy that allows workers to voice concerns or share ideas without fear of retaliation. This will give them a sense of belonging and enhance their commitment to work, decreasing absenteeism.
3.6 Create effective employee engagement programs
Employee disengagement often prompts individuals to seek excuses to avoid work and disregard opportunities where their expertise could be valuable. To reduce this, managers can organize various engagement programs like team-building activities, yoga camps, potluck lunches, etc. Additionally, firms can provide opportunities for employees to pursue their hobbies, arrange sports tournaments, outdoor activities, competitions, etc.
Adopting this approach enables employees to actively engage with other teammates, fostering collaboration that significantly enhances their participation and overall engagement in the workplace. This also motivates them to amplify their work contributions, creating a positive atmosphere and ultimately reducing absenteeism.
3.7 Develop an efficient reward and recognition system
Employees feel undervalued and demotivated when their hard work goes unrecognized or unappreciated. Further, it can lower their morale, making them take frequent leaves. Thus, organizations must develop effective reward and recognition programs to acknowledge and appreciate professionals’ efforts.
For instance, managers can arrange quarterly or yearly incentives and awards like gift cards, bonuses, paid time off, etc. to boost their morale and performance. Additionally, firms can recognize the employee’s contributions during team meetings and through shoutouts on social media. This will ultimately foster a positive work environment, thereby decreasing absenteeism.
Now that you are clear about the measures to lower absenteeism, let’s know how futuristic resource management can be beneficial.
4. How does resource management software help lower absenteeism in the workplace?
A robust ERM solution like Saviom can help organizations combat absenteeism effectively and boost business profitability with its advanced capabilities.
The 360-degree visibility and advanced filters enable managers to view resource attributes and select employees based on availability, skills, capacity, etc., thus facilitating competent allocation across projects.
Moreover, real-time reports like utilization, availability, heatmaps, etc. enable managers to track utilization levels and identify overloaded resources. Accordingly, they can take corrective measures to ensure even workload distribution.
Furthermore, the open-seat feature helps managers publish open positions with specific requirements like skills, qualifications, etc., and interested candidates can show their desire. The best-suited resource can be assigned, thereby improving engagement and productivity.
Employee absenteeism can prove costly for organizations in terms of productivity, revenue, and growth. Therefore, firms must implement the strategies listed in this article combined with advanced resource management software to effectively address absenteeism and improve business performance and efficiency.