Managing employees is always difficult. Many small businesses have a problem managing employee absenteeism as it is difficult to determine when employees are taking advantage of sick leave. However, there are a few techniques that have proven effective and relatively easy to introduce into your business.
One way to minimize employee absenteeism is to introduce attendance policies into your business. This will help to ensure that employees are only absent from work when there is a real reason and when it is appropriate, and it will help to reduce employees taking advantage of this benefit. Attendance policies can be very effective, especially if you implement them correctly and put rules in place from the start.
- Write a detailed attendance policy: Always make sure that you have a detailed attendance policy written and distributed to each employee. You may even have each employee sign a document stating that they have read and accept the new attendance policy. Many small businesses also choose to display this policy visibly in the work place so that employees are fully aware of it at all times. This reduces the risk of employees saying that they were not aware of the rules and regulations that they need to work under.
- Define accepted absenteeism and unacceptable absenteeism: Make sure that you define what exactly is deemed as an acceptable reason for absenteeism and what is deemed as an unacceptable reason for absenteeism. You should also indicate whether employees need to submit any supporting documents such as medical certificates when they are absent.
- Outline a call-in policy: It is important to detail a procedure that each employee should follow a set procedure when they are unable to come into work. For example, you can specify that all absenteeism needs to be reported by calling your manager at least two hours before your shift is due to start. This will help to reduce absenteeism at the last minute, allowing you to make alternative arrangements if an employee cannot make it to work.
- Paid leave days: Many small businesses have a problem with workers simply requesting that their vacation time is used to cover absenteeism. This is unacceptable. You need to specify that this cannot happen and all days absent from work need to be justified appropriately. This will reduce the amount of days that employees are absent because they sometimes simply use their additional leave time to stay away from work, leaving you without sufficient staff.
- Request details regarding each case of absenteeism: When an employee is absent from work, always request details once they have returned. There is a very respectable way in which this can and should be done. Although you should never pry into an employee’s personal life, you may request reasons for why the employee was absent to confirm their reason.