How to Deal With Employee Absenteeism

Knowing how to deal with employee absenteeism is one of the biggest challenges employers face. An excessive absence from work can severely affect an organization’s productivity and morale even if it is due to medical reasons, personal issues, or illness. The cost of replacing employees who don’t show up, not to mention lost labour hours and possible customer dissatisfaction, can add up quickly, making this a costly problem that needs to be addressed as soon as possible.

Fortunately, there are proven methods you can use to reduce and manage employee absenteeism in your workplace so you don’t experience any long-term negative effects on your business. In this blog post, we will explore 9 actionable to learn how to deal with employee absenteeism effectively. But first, let’s take a closer look at why managing absences is essential for your business today.

Why managing absences is important for your business today


One of the most important reasons to manage employee absences is to maintain productivity. When employees are absent, it can significantly impact productivity levels. Absences can cause workflow disruptions and make it difficult for employees to catch up on work. Additionally, absences can increase overtime costs as businesses try to compensate for lost productivity.

Customer Service

Another reason to manage employee absences is to maintain high levels of customer service. When employees are absent, it can lead to a decline in customer service quality. This is because absences can cause staffing shortages, which can lead to longer wait times and less personalized service. Additionally, absences can lead to a decline in morale, which can further impact customer service quality.

Employee Engagement

Managing employee absences is also crucial for maintaining employee engagement levels. When employees are frequently absent, it can lead to feelings of isolation and disconnection from the workplace. Additionally, absenteeism can be contagious, and if one employee is frequently absent, it can lead to other employees becoming disengaged.

how to deal with employee absenteeism

Cost Savings

Another reason to manage employee absences is to save money on costs such as wages, benefits, and training. When employees are absent, businesses often have to pay for replacement workers, which can add up quickly. Additionally, companies may have to pay for overtime or offer incentives to encourage employees to work extra hours. Finally, businesses may have to spend money on training new employees if absences result in high turnover rates.


Managing employee absences is also crucial for safety reasons. When employees are absent, there is a greater risk of accidents and errors due to staffing shortages. Consequently, there is additional pressure on the remaining employees and it is more likely that they will make mistakes.

9 tips on how to deal with employee absenteeism

1. Implement an attendance policy

An attendance policy sets the groundwork for managing absences in your workplace by clearly defining what is and isn’t acceptable regarding attendance. Make sure your policy includes guidelines on requesting time off and rules related to notification, tardiness, and absenteeism.

Companies must establish a policy that elucidates the consequences of excessive absences in their operations. This policy should indicate both an accepted amount and an unacceptable number of absences and plainly outline any disciplinary action or penalties for those who infringe upon it. By implementing this measure, businesses can ensure that attendance is taken seriously without overburdening employees with standstills for productivity.

2. Review and monitor your attendance policy regularly

Regularly reviewing and monitoring your attendance policies ensures that employees understand what is expected of them and any consequences for absenteeism. Make sure you consult with staff to ensure their understanding of the company’s stance on absences, as well as any associated disciplinary processes if needed.

3. Ensure employees understand the importance of attendance

Educating your employees on the importance of attendance is essential to ensure that they understand its value to both them and the business. Provide regular training sessions and make sure you communicate how absenteeism can affect the overall productivity and profitability of the organization.

4. Encourage communication

Make sure there are clear lines of communication between managers and employees so that any issues can be discussed in a timely manner. Encourage employees to report any absences as soon as possible, or let you know of any potential problems which may lead to an absence.

5. Offer flexible working arrangements

A lack of flexibility in the workplace can often cause absenteeism, as employees may feel they have no option but to take time off to balance their work and personal lives. Offering flexible working options, such as part-time hours or the ability to work remotely, can help employees feel like they have more control over their schedule – this in turn can reduce absenteeism.

6. Build a solid team culture

Cultivating a team environment can drastically reduce absenteeism as each member is conscious of the effects on the entire group. Additionally, in such an atmosphere, people are more inclined to provide support when it’s truly needed and company operations remain uninterrupted.

7. Improve the quality of life

By creating a workplace conducive to personal growth and happiness, companies can drastically reduce absences due to illness and fatigue. Healthy lifestyle options such as providing nutritious snacks, subsidizing gym membership costs, or offering flexible hours can help employees feel supported and valued in their environment.

8. Institute work-from-home policies

By providing your employees with a comprehensive work-from-home policy, you can allow them to stay healthy and productive even when they have personal obligations. Whether it is taking care of an ill family member, going to doctor appointments, or attending their child’s recital – this flexible option will provide everyone with peace of mind in these uncertain times.

9. Take a human-centered approach

It’s important to note that any extended time off can signify an underlying issue. When addressing this with employees, take a humanized approach and show genuine care by considering extenuating circumstances that could influence attendance. You can offer company-sponsored resources such as Employee Assistance Programs (EAP). Once the employee returns from their absence, ensure that any support they may have needed is addressed in a timely manner. This will build trust and help employees to feel valued within their organization.

Talent Pools

How do you motivate employees to reduce absenteeism?

  • Provide incentives for attendance. Employees should be aware of the rewards they can receive by having a good attendance record, such as bonus points, tickets to company events, or other rewards.
  • Promote a healthy work-life balance. Ensuring that employees have time off to rest and recuperate can reduce stress levels and help them stay fresh for their daily tasks.
  • Introduce flexible working hours. Allow employees more control over their schedules, so they can take time off when needed without feeling guilty about it.
  • Show appreciation for dedication. Expressing your gratitude for employees who consistently have a good attendance record will help to motivate them and encourage others in the team to follow suit.
  • Create an open and communicative culture. Encourage employees to speak up if they feel overwhelmed or experiencing challenges outside of work, and provide them with the necessary support.
  • Offer a unique workplace experience. Create an environment where employees feel appreciated and valued, allowing them to learn, grow, and develop their skills.
  • Foster a sense of belonging among employees. Make sure that everyone feels like a part of the team, and supports each other during difficult times. This will create an atmosphere of solidarity and contribute to a positive work culture.

A word from SublimePeople

No one’s perfect. If your attendance policy isn’t realistic, you probably need to learn how to deal with employee absenteeism. Invest in better manager training so that employees feel supported instead of micromanaged. Also, you can give your team the resources they need to succeed and address issues as they arise. And remember, a little recognition can go a long way toward boosting morale and keeping good employees on board.

What other methods do you use to reduce employee absenteeism in your workplace? We’d love to hear from you in the comments below.