Effective Techniques to Manage Employee Absenteeism

Unplanned or casual leaves affect both the employers and other employees. The unexcused absences from work increase the additional labor cost and decrease labor productivity due to employees’ missed working hours. Other employers have to work under pressure to deliver work both in quality and quantity. It ultimately creates workplace dissatisfaction. Such employees lose their value in the company and may lose their jobs in the long run.

What is Employee Absenteeism

Employee absenteeism is the constant absence from work, excluding the authorized and planned leaves. Frequent absence from the company becomes a problem and is called Absenteeism. Those who are late at work or skipping working days have a high absenteeism rate. It leads to low productivity, loss of employee value, and low morale. It is a grave concern, and every company should address it.

How does Absenteeism Affect a Functioning Workforce

The Absenteeism of employees significantly affects the functioning workforce. Unplanned absence increases the task load of co-workers who have added responsibilities to cover the absent staff duties to keep the productivity going. Managing the duties and responsibilities of the absent worker also reduces the work quantity and decreases the performance efficiency. It is also time-consuming for the employers to take time away from their assigned responsibilities to find a temporary replacement, assess the workflow, and train the candidate temporarily replacing for the role of absent worker.

5 Common Reasons for Employee Absenteeism

Employees’ regular absence from the organization is because of various reasons. It might be due to falling ill regularly, workspace issues, work schedule, mental health, etc. It is necessary to learn about the reason for this Absenteeism and address those reasons.

Low Employee Engagement

It often happens that employees don’t enjoy the work they are doing, and as a result, they find ways to miss their work. Low employee engagement is one of the reasons for employee absenteeism. Job satisfaction is an essential element for employees to succeed and remain engaged. To keep employees engaged at work, employers need to give them the liberty to choose their work. They should also appreciate the employees for their efforts. To induce a sense of belonging, employees must feel comfortable. It will help in building an engaged and productive team.

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Rigid Work Schedule

A rigid working schedule is a significant reason for employee absenteeism from the working place. Flexible working hours are a necessity for professionals across the globe. To enjoy a work-life balance, employees need to have fulfilled their commitments. Lack of a flexible working schedule causes employees to miss out on work to follow up on their responsibilities.


Burnout causes ill-performance by the employees. It mostly happens when employees have rigorous and unscheduled working hours and exhausting working conditions. Many a time, burnout at the workplace goes overlooked. An HR knows the importance of rejuvenating time for employees. However, most employees are overburdened with work, and they are no personal time left for them. In the long run, it reduces interest in the workplace.

Mental Health Issues

For great performance at work, it is necessary to have sound mental health. Continuous rise in the workload in all the organizations, having sound and balanced mental health is complex for many employees. To escape the ill effects of mental health issues, most employees skip their work to get more time to relax and rejuvenate themselves. Leave taken for such reasons is often unplanned and leads to a low employee attendance rate.

Substance Abuse

Substance abuse is a less discussed topic. Most employees choose unethical means for rejuvenation like drinking alcohol, taking drugs, etc. To let go of stress, employees practice substance abuse, which affects them physically and mentally. It considerably reduces their ability to perform duties with full capacity and thoughtfully.

Employee Absenteeism Global Annual Cost for Employers

The struggle between scheduling face-to-face interviews and calendar availability has given rise to virtual interviews. It gives employers to conduct interviews at home and at any time of the week. It is no longer necessary to have back-to-back interviews without taking large, awkward breaks.

How to Calculate Absenteeism Rate (Formula Included)

To calculate the absence rate, take the number of unexcused absences in a given period, divide it by the total period, and multiply the result by 100 to get the absenteeism rate over a month, year, etc.
Formula: (number of unexcused absences/total period) *100 = % of absenteeism
No fixed number of Absenteeism tells if the absenteeism rate is high or low. However, the ideal is 0.
Tracking the absenteeism rate is necessary as it helps fix the problem and make improvements.

Accounting for Workplace Absence

There are different methods to reduce the impact of employee absence for planned or unplanned leaves. When there is an indiscriminate rise in workforce absenteeism, you should take care of this issue. Consider the following in such a situation:

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  • Reinforce: Hire part-time employers to fill vacant positions.
  • Communicate: Inform the team members that such employees may need help.
  • Delegate: Gain access to any information or permissions for the projects or tasks that other people might need to perform in the employee’s absence.
  • Record: Maintain a record of what is going on in the workplace when an employee is absent. It helps in scheduling a follow-up on their return.

Unplanned absence needs prior planning and maintenance of good internal communication.

Learn how to Prevent Unannounced Absenteeism

If you want to curb the negative effects of Absenteeism, the first thing is to prevent it from happening. To stop it from happening, one has to be a better employer. They will keep the employees present, productive, and on time. Employee absenteeism only occurs for a few reasons. These are:

  • Communication
  • Compensation
  • Benefits 
  • Engagement

Employees might feel unappreciated or unrecognized for their contribution at work. Fair pay, solid benefits, and a healthy work environment are major reasons for employee enthusiasm at work. At last, a better employer creates a better and more dedicated team at the workplace.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What are some of the important reasons for employee absenteeism?

personal reasons like health issues, mental health problems, rigid work schedule, and burnout, low employee engagement, workload, substance abuse.

What are the few techniques to manage employee absenteeism?

Communication- communicate with the employees to know the reason for prolonged absences.
Compensation- provide compensation for extra days of working.
Benefits- give health, education, and other benefits to the employees.
Engagement- appreciate the candidates for their work and maintain a healthy relationship between the employee and the employer.

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