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  • Writer's pictureSusan Wakelin

HR Advice: Dealing with High Absence

High absenteeism significantly impacts the productivity and morale of any workplace. Addressing this issue effectively requires a strategic approach that mitigates immediate concerns and addresses underlying causes.

Here’s a detailed guide on how to manage and reduce high absence rates with expert HR advice.

Understanding the Impact of High Absence

Before taking action, it's essential to understand how high absence rates affect your business. Beyond the direct loss of productivity, frequent absences can lead to increased workload for other employees, potentially causing burnout and further absences. It can also impact team dynamics and overall workplace morale.

a young professional man that is experiencingmental burnout from the workplace demands - a respresentation of the challenges felt by employees with the correct hr advice in place

Identifying the Causes

High absence often has multiple causes, ranging from health issues, seasonal sickness and workplace conditions to personal challenges and job dissatisfaction. Accurate identification of these causes is crucial and can be achieved through:

  • Employee surveys to gather direct feedback

  • Review of attendance records to identify patterns

  • One-on-one meetings to discuss concerns and issues

Implementing Effective Policies

Developing and enforcing clear attendance policies is a foundational step in managing absenteeism. These policies should include:

  • Clear definitions of acceptable and unacceptable absences

  • Procedures for notifying absences

  • Consequences of policy violations

  • Support for returning employees, such as phased returns or adjusted duties

Supporting Employee Health and Well-being

A proactive approach to employee health can significantly reduce absence rates. Consider implementing:

  • Regular health and wellness programs

  • Access to mental health support and counselling

  • Flexible working arrangements to accommodate personal and family needs

  • Ergonomic assessments and adaptations to prevent workplace injuries

image showing a woman with her baby whilst her partner works in the background - a visual representation of how hr adviced can help balance fexible working and decrease high absences in the workforce

Monitoring and Evaluating

Ongoing monitoring of absence rates and the effectiveness of implemented policies is essential. Regular reviews will help you understand what's working and what isn't, allowing for timely adjustments. This might include:

  • Regular updates and training on attendance policies

  • Feedback sessions with employees to discuss the impact of new measures

  • Adjusting policies and support programs based on employee feedback and health trends

Offering Training and Development

Sometimes, high absenteeism is linked to a lack of engagement or career development opportunities. Providing training and professional development can increase job satisfaction and commitment, thereby reducing absences. This could involve:

  • Skills development programs

  • Career advancement paths within the company

  • Leadership training for managers to better support their teams

Seeking External HR Advice

For complex cases, or if internal efforts do not yield the desired results, seeking external HR advice can be invaluable. HR professionals can offer new perspectives and expert strategies tailored to your needs, helping you resolve persistent absenteeism effectively.

Addressing high absenteeism requires a comprehensive approach to examining the immediate and underlying issues. With the right strategies and support, you can significantly improve attendance and create a more engaged, productive workplace.

Need comprehensive and flexible HR advice in Kent? Contact Swan HR today to see how our expert services can help manage and improve your workplace dynamics. Let us help you achieve a more engaged and productive team.

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