Top 5 causes of employee absenteeism

Top 5 causes of employee absenteeism

The causes of employee absenteeism can vastly vary, so making snap decisions on discipline is never a good idea. Instead, check your data. Use insight and work out the best way to stop it.

As a business owner or manager, you rely on your staff to get things done.

When employees don’t show up for work it disrupts your work plans, takes up your valuable time and lowers the company’s productivity.

It can hit small businesses particularly hard, both financially and culturally.

Absenteeism is commonly defined as an employee’s intentional or habitual absence from work. People miss work for several reasons, some understandable and legitimate but others less so.

The issue of absenteeism:

According to the Gov. sickness absence in the UK labour market report, 118.6 million days were lost due to sickness in 2020.

Average absence rates vary considerably within and between regions and the top two reasons for absence were:

  • Minor illnesses
  • Musculoskeletal problems

Why do you need to worry about this?

If labour is one of your most expensive outgoings, it’s worth taking time to consider the reasons why employees don’t turn up for work.

The top 5 causes of employee absenteeism

  • Minor illness

For example colds/flu, stomach upsets, headaches and migraines. This is the top reason for short term absence.

Of course, you can’t stop illness, but you can ensure that it doesn’t spread in your business. Whipping out more workers.

Clocking workers with a Biometric Facial Recognition with Temperature Reader will enable you to track employees with illness symptoms and stop them from entering the workplace.

  • Injury

This could be work-related or otherwise. Musculoskeletal injuries were more common for manual workers.

Make sure your health and safety processes are up to date, and back to work training if this is an ongoing issue.

Looking at business trends for absence, you can even schedule your sick workers around less back-breaking work.

  • Stress

Stress is the most common cause of long-term absence and is especially prevalent amongst office-based staff.

This is also related to absence due to depression or anxiety.

Picking up on data related to mental health absence is paramount. Where possible discovering if anything at work is causing the issue and stopping it will help.

It could be as simple as a dispute between colleagues.

  • Family commitments

Employees may need to be absent for childcare or to look after elderly relatives.

  • Disengagement

Studies have shown that people who are absent more frequently are often dissatisfied with their jobs.

This could be due to their perception of the work itself or a sign of more serious problems such as bullying or harassment in the workplace.

How to stop absenteeism

As an efficient business owner or manager, you should want to know the extent of absenteeism, and crucially what it is costing your business.

HR departments can check files to manually compile records. However, you can save time on gathering this information if you have an automated time and attendance system.

Systems such as uAttend are cloud-based employee management systems that generate automatic timesheets and can easily run reports about employee attendance and, of course, levels of absenteeism.

Once you know the exact rates of employee absenteeism you can decide on a strategy.

The data may reveal that there is not a significant problem. On the other hand, the automated information may reveal exactly where problems are occurring. Enabling you to tackle this with the employees concerned with the necessary information.

How uAttend can help

The cloud-based uAttend system is available via any web-enabled PC, laptop or smart device. Which makes the system convenient for busy supervisors and managers.

On top of unauthorised absences, uAttend can help you keep up-to-date with the requested holidays. Employee self-service means they can request days off in advance, and you can approve or deny based on your holiday calendar.

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