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How To Encourage Attendance at Work

Absence in the workplace is critical in all organisations.

Although the average level of employee absence in the UK in 2019 was only 5.9 days per employee per year (CIPD), it should be highlighted that poor attendance can have a real cost in terms of overtime expenses or lost productivity. It also reduces employee engagement and affects the morale of those in attendance. Besides, there is also the time, cost and stress of absence management and potential disciplinary action.

However, it is essential to note that most absence from the workplace is genuine and employers must understand that we all get ill or have a reason for not being at work at some point. Effective attendance management involves finding a balance between providing support to help employees with health conditions stay in and return to work. Indeed, consistent and firm action in the minority of cases where employees could try to take advantage of their organisation’s occupational sick pay scheme is needed.

There are five steps to encourage attendance at work:

  1. Ensure that you track employee absence. Monitoring absence ensures the integrity and consistency of an organisation’s attendance policies are maintained.
  2. Visibly commit to managing absence. Ensure that employees call in when they are not coming to work. The call should be to their line manager and must be completed by a specific time. The severity of the situation must be considered, but at this point, managers should tell them that they will be missed and describe how their absence will impact the workplace.
  3. Workplace flexibility is an essential factor. Absence can be increased as a result of medical appointments. However, allowing early dentist appointments, schedule flexible workdays or hours or work from home initiatives could be considered.
  4. Rewarding employees for positive attendance can make a difference. However, it must be remembered that presenteeism or attending work when they are genuinely ill should not be encouraged.
  5. Finally, and hopefully, it won’t come to it, there must be consequences for an employee having poor attendance. Absence affects everyone else in the organisation and for those who have good attendance, work hard and give of their all, it is those employees whose morale and motivation will fall.

Progressive discipline is critical, starting with awareness, coaching and feedback and followed by using the steps highlighted above. However, in most cases, when someone says they are ‘ill’, they most often are!

Please contact us on paul@coppicehr.com or 07814 008478 to discuss solutions to employee absence and other HR matters.

Inspired by: How To Encourage Employee Attendance At Work – The Balance careers and Health & Wellbeing At Work – CIPD

 

 

 

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