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How to Handle Excessive Employee Absenteeism?


If you have a senior at a company or have an administrative role to perform then it is certainly part of your job description to ensure that everything runs in a proper manner and that the employees are giving their one hundred percent at all times. If employees do not give their best then chances are that the company will not be able to rise from strength to strength and get bigger and better in time, employees are after all the very backbone of any company. So given here is a list on how you can handle excessive employee absenteeism.

handle excessive employee absenteeismControlling and Preventing Employee Absenteeism Tips:

1. Make the rules clear at the time of employment:

The first thing which needs to be noted, is that at the time of employment itself you should state in no uncertain terms that it is completely unacceptable when employees remain away from work too often. Everyone is permitted to take a certain number of paid, sick as well as casual leave and not anything beyond that. If the employee will not be willing to deal with this then he could seek employment elsewhere rather than going against the rules at a later point in time.

2. Proper action should be taken for such bad habits:

Employees are very quick to pick up on things; if they see another employee getting away with taking frequent holidays then they think they need not be so prompt and regular either. As a senior of the company it is certainly your responsibility to ensure that no absenting trends take place under your watch, as something like this could be absolutely detrimental to any company. So rather than regretting not taking action at a later point when things have gotten out of hand, it is advisable for you to nip the bad habit right in the bud before too much damage has been done.

3. Give a fair warning to those who are frequently absenting:

Before you take things too far and begin to take action it is better you give a fair warning to those who have not been regularly coming into the office. Your warning should neither be too extreme nor too mellow, make sure you speak in a professional tone such that you clearly get the point across. Mostly, such a warning is enough to stop them from taking leave too often.

4. Be tactful about the way you handle this sensitive issue:

Excessive employee absenteeism is a serious problem indeed; you should ensure that you go about dealing with this issue in a smart as well as appropriate manner. After all you would not want to hurt any employee’s feelings. As a manager you must always ensure that you also have the best interests of your employees at heart. If you are rude or insulting them, they will not take that lying down and they will certainly hand in their resignation. Remember that employees must be treated with uttermost respect as it is they who make up the essence of any company.

5. Offer perks for those who do come in most regularly:

One of the most effective ways to handle the problem of excessive absenteeism is by offering perks for those who come into work regularly and during a meeting be sure to mention that those who absent frequently can never be considered for any promotions. A company can never run if the employees in high positions are constantly staying away from the office. What drives people to give their best at all times and under all circumstances is the prospect of a promotion, so if you state the above then the employees are certainly going to pull up their socks.

6. Threatening to cut their pay is highly effective:

A certain amount of leave is granted to everyone and you should mention that beyond that no one will get any more paid leave. If you threaten to cut the pay of employees then you can rest assured that they are certainly going to mend their ways as no one likes their pay check to be reduced in any way at the end of the month. However you must ensure that if the employee has valid reasons for taking leave then you do not go about penalizing him .

7. Mention that if they are absenting they will need to work from home:

If when a person calls to say that he or she will not be coming into work, for a reason which you can make out is untrue, then you could tell him or her that he or she must continue to work from home. Once the employees realize that they are anyway not being able to enjoy this ‘holiday’ which they have taken then they will naturally stop absenting from work. Sometimes steps like this become vital when employees are taking matters into their own hands and not respecting figures of authority in the work place. Doing this has proved to be highly effective.

8. If they absent, their work load gets doubled the next day:

If working from home is not something which they agree to, then you must be sure to tell them that if they absent from work their own work load is going to be doubled the next day. If employees do not come into work, then why should someone else take up the added burden of doing their work for them, they should know that when they decide to return, their work load is going to be a lot. So rather than taking leave of absence for no reason, they should take their job seriously and do what is expected of them without giving any sort of trouble.

9. Do not hesitate to fire anyone:

In the event of an employee just doing whatever he likes and taking leave at will without fulfilling any of his projects, you should not hesitate to take matters into your own hands and fire him. Once you do this you can be rest assured that you are sending out a message out and clear to other employees that such an attitude towards work is just not going to slide. When you do this you are also silently communicating to the rest of the staff that if they too do not work properly, you will not think twice before firing them as well.

10. Be on the lookout for new employees:

If you notice that a number of employees are just taking too many holidays, then you should be on the lookout for new employees who will actually take their job seriously. Once you have found new employees you should just fire the old employees. Such kind of behavior can certainly not carry on endlessly and therefore you are perfectly justified in doing what you have done. Make sure that you do not fire a number of employees without having any replacement for them as the company could come to a complete standstill otherwise.

11. Ensure that no one receives preferential treatment:

As a figure of authority in a company, you must ensure that you treat all the employees equally; if you start giving preferential treatment to one employee, then this will not go down well with the other workers of the office. So make sure that the same leave of absence rules apply to one and all.

12. Entrust everyone with a special responsibility:

One of the most effective ways to handle this situation is by allotting each employee with a special responsibility such that they feel like they are a very important part of the company. It is only when employees feel like they do not belong that they start staying away from office. Make sure that you as a senior are making everyone feel important as well as valuable such that they understand that they are an integral part of the company. When things work in this way then employees know that if they don’t do their share of work then chances are that it will not be done.

13. Mention those ill will have to directly call the boss:

If employees know that taking leave of absence in your office is a very easy thing to do, then chances are that they will not hesitate to call in and say that they cannot make it to work on a given day. However, if you happen to mention to them that from a given date onwards they will have to directly call the boss stating the reason behind them wanting to take a holiday then you can be rest assured that from henceforth hardly anyone is going to be absent. At the end of the day no one would like to get on to the wrong side of their boss.

14. Find out the reason why people are absenting so much:

Excessive employee absenteeism is something that is not very common in top companies, yet if this is becoming a trend of sorts in your company then you should take it upon yourself to find out the root behind the problem. Is it because the work load is too much? Or on the other end of the spectrum is the work load too little? Is there some reason why employees are afraid to come to work? Or is it that they just are not interested? Nothing in life happens without reason, so if you find out what the problem is, then you can really think about finding a solution to it.

15. Ensure that the office atmosphere is conducive:

In the event of excessive employee absenteeism, you must ensure that you personally look into the problems and try your best to improve the system of functioning as well as the conditions of work. If the work atmosphere is nice and conducive then automatically the employees will look forward to coming to work and they will be inspired to put forth their best foot forward at all times. You could improve the present state of affair by doing something as small as offering the employees snacks, warm beverages, comfortable chairs or even the proper and latest technology.

16. Don’t let anyone feel indispensible:

If you notice that employees are taking too many days off, then you should never make the mistake of running after any employee making him or her feel absolutely indispensible. Obviously companies are on the lookout out for only those employees who will be a true asset to the company, yet you should let the employees know that no matter how capable they are there are plenty of other fish in the sea who would be willing to accept this job opportunity with open arms, especially since finding a job has become so impossible in the present economic condition.

17. Do not constantly chance your stance:

Trying to win some brownie points by trying to be excessively nice to the employees is something that could never work in the business world. Make sure that you have been entrusted with a great deal of responsibility and will not let the company down. Ensure that you are the perfect blend of someone who is friendly, stern, approachable yet professional. One of the best ways to handle a sensitive issue like this is by being stern and unapologetic about the decisions which you take.

So these are some of the ways in which you can handle excessive employee absenteeism. If you are in a position of authority you should ensure that you have the best interest of the company at heart and if you start letting even the smallest of things slide then you are compromising the quality of the work delivered by the employees. Constant absenteeism is a big problem indeed which should be dealt with as soon as possible before things begin to get out of hand in any way. So ensure that you handle the matter in a professional and stern manner.