Improving employee attendance is crucial for ensuring consistent workflow. Sick leave, annual leave, special leave, childcare leave, and many others – the reasons why your employees don’t show up for work can be endless. While occasional absences may not have a significant impact on business operations, excessive absenteeism can lead to negative consequences, such as increased workloads for colleagues and lower productivity for the entire company. Fortunately, there are strategies to address this issue. In this blog post, we’ll present four practices you can implement to improve employee attendance and reduce absenteeism. Read on to find out more.
How to improve employee attendance? – table of contents:
Extra days off
At first glance, the idea of giving extra time off to improve employee attendance may seem surprising. However, frequent absences can be a sign of deeper issues, such as poor physical or mental health, burnout, or an inability to balance work and personal life. By providing employees with additional time off, such as extra vacation days based on length of service or non-traditional leave options like menstrual or birthday leave, you can help alleviate some of the underlying causes of absenteeism.
Additionally, offering opportunities to extend weekends without using personal vacation days can provide a much-needed break for employees and contribute to their overall well-being. In the long run, this can translate into fewer absences and a more productive and engaged workforce. In fact, one day off can potentially lead to a full week of increased productivity when employees return to work feeling rested and refreshed.
Another tactic you can use is to reward employees who have outstanding performance or perfect attendance (such as in a given month, quarter, or year). Of course, this practice is not meant to discourage your employees from using their legally entitled time off by offering them a financial bonus on top of their salary.
Rather, it is a way to show appreciation for individuals who do not have (often abused in practice) sick leave or other random absences. As a result, you can expect a partial reduction in staff absences. It is important to note that you can determine the amount of the bonus (e.g., 10% of the base salary) and the conditions that employees need to meet to receive it individually, for example, in an internal work regulation or employment contract.
Flexible work arrangements
How could providing flexible working arrangements help increase employee attendance? This practice can be particularly beneficial in situations where an employee gives false information about feeling unwell to fulfill other important duties or plans, such as the necessity to be in two places at once.
With flexitime, they would not have to do this, which would ultimately increase their attendance at work. Importantly, increasing flexibility can also be a good solution for chronic lateness or longer lunch breaks (resulting from e.g. the need to take a child to or from school), which also count as absences from work.
Attractive employee benefits
Enticing benefits packages can also serve as an effective incentive to increase employee attendance. For instance, subsidized lunches at the company canteen are highly popular as they help employees save time and money while also promoting a sense of community among colleagues who gather to eat together.
An office chill-out zone equipped with various entertainment options (such as gaming consoles, ping-pong and foosball tables, billiards), free snacks, “pizza Fridays,” a training budget, or other entertainment activities arranged by the HR department – these are just some examples of initiatives that you can consider and that will encourage employees to show up for work. To further boost attendance, you could make access to certain benefits dependent on the number of absences and reward only the most “exemplary” employees.
The strategies mentioned above are only examples of what you can do in your company. Whether your actions will have a desired impact depends on the employee’s individual situation, the underlying reasons for low attendance (you may uncover a deeper issue within the company), and the organizational culture.
However, it’s important to remember that implementing these tactics requires proper absenteeism monitoring, so you can respond before the problem escalates. A dedicated program, such as Firmbee, will allow you to input all the information about absenteeism in the workplace. This will make it easier for you to analyze and identify negative trends in employee attendance, enabling you to introduce changes that will improve the situation.