Ninja Excel BlogPeople ManagementAll about Absenteeism from work: 5 tips to reduce it

All about Absenteeism from work: 5 tips to reduce it

Absenteeism from work is a problem when it is usually recurrent and can have consequences such as high turnover rate, low engagement, among others.

No matter the type of job or working day, Work absenteeism is a problem that continues to impact every area of Human Resources. When workers do not show up for work, it has a series of consequences. Lack of team cohesion, decrease in overall productivity or increase in turnover rate.

There are announced absenteeisms from work, such as administrative leaves, medical appointments or illnesses. However, as an HR manager you can observe that there are more absences than those detected. The lack of motivation or enthusiasm for work is an example of this.  

Do you think that work absenteeism in your company is increasing? Don't worry! This Ninja Excel article is the tool you needed. Below, you will discover the main scope of absenteeism from work. You will also know its causes and know how to solve it. 

What is absenteeism from work?: Definitions

Absenteeism or absenteeism from work is defined by the International Labor Organization (ILO) as “the practice by a worker of not attending work for a period of one or more days than it was thought he or she would attend.”

Absenteeism from work is not only considered a lack of work regardless of the reason. For example, a health or family emergency. Absenteeism from work is also considered a practice of absenteeism, absence from work of one's own free will.  

“The key to this definition is that the person was programmed to work. This means that absenteeism does not include vacations, personal leave, leave for jury duty or other reasons,” they indicate from AIHR

Types of absenteeism from work 

Identifying the types of absenteeism from work allows us to determine with greater precision the actions to reduce absenteeism.either. In general, this is how the types of work absenteeism are categorized. 

Justified work absenteeism 

This type of absenteeism is one where the company is aware of the absence. This can be:

  • Administrative legal permits
  • Absences due to illnesses or conditions
  • Postnatal or prenatal leave for maternity or paternity
  • Medical appointments or exams
  • Family death
  • Removals

Unjustified work absenteeism 

It is unjustified absenteeism from work. when staff do not show up for work and cannot justify it. Some of these can be explained by:

  • Lack of motivation
  • Bad work environment
  • General stress
  • Few projection options 
  • Low effective communication between leaders and team members
  • Low salaries 
  • Better opportunities from the competition
  • Excessive tasks 
Caring for children or the elderly causes justified absenteeism from work

Causes of absenteeism from work

One way to classify the origin of work absenteeism in an organization is from the causes. These causes may be due to the worker or the company.. Let's review!

Causes in the company 

  • Exhaustion, stress and low morale: high workloads, high-tension meetings and the feeling of not being appreciated. All of this can influence workers to avoid going to work. 
  • Lack of time flexibility: If due to the pandemic there was a habit of flexible hours, it will be difficult to return to “the old days.” In short, not returning to hybrid work environments – when it has already been done – will generate reasons for absenteeism. 
  • Workplace hostility: Episodes of workplace harassment of any kind between teammates will make the victim not interested in going to work. 
  • Lack of business leadership: Depending on the organizational culture, mission and vision of the company, the type of leadership influences the daily work of a team. In more autocratic leaders, disagreements in communication cause conflicts and misunderstandings, generating a loss of motivation in workers. 

Worker's causes 

  • Child and elderly care:  In the face of personal difficulties, employees have to be at home to care for people.  
  • Psychosocial and psychological conditions: depression, stress, burnout syndrome, panic attacks, caused by work or by factors unrelated to it. 
  • waste of engagement with work: Disconnection with work may be due to the above causes. Failure to complete tasks, low attendance in company activities or little participation in discussions. This may indicate a low commitment to work and, consequently, an increase in work absenteeism. 
  • Job search: Workers can be excused to attend interviews, visit a headhunter, or work on their resumes.

Main consequences of absenteeism from work 

There are a series of consequences associated with absenteeism from work. This will depend on factors such as the type of work of the worker, their working hours or associated responsibilities.. The sector of the company, the type of business leadership or the organizational culture

Whatever the factors, in general terms these are the main consequences of absenteeism from work. The information is collected from Investopedia

  • Decreases productivity in particular or general 
  • Impact on working environment 
  • Reduced productivity
  • Increased labor turnover and more time spent searching for replacements
  • Low morale for workers who must cover the most absent team members
  • It will impact the employer branding 

5 tips to reduce work absenteeism

Reducing work absenteeism involves a series of strategies and actions for the benefit of the organization and its teams.. We present a series of tips that, in different ways, will help you reduce the problem of absenteeism from work. 

Have and adhere to a culture of support

Depending on the working hours and the country's legislation, there are different ways of organizing working hours. Depending on whether there is an online, hybrid or in-person work modality, you must adapt how to carry out the attendance culture. Some opt for benefits for those who arrive early at work. 

Promote workplace well-being and benefits plan 

Have policies and workplace wellness initiatives It allows workers to feel supported in the company. You can achieve greater employee commitment and reduce labor turnover.

Promote a good work environment in the company

Meetings between various areas of the company, holding meetings outside the office or other recreational activities. All of this is sign of a good work environment in the company. Clear processes, effective communication between teammates and leadership that inspires. It is also part of examples of a good work environment. 

Deliver training and capacity building 

The skill improvement and knowledge is an essential part of the development of any professional. Giving discounts, suggesting courses or making alliances with training providers are excellent practices that promote employee motivation. 

Be flexible and empathetic with workers

Take into account the individual realities among team members, family difficulties, moves or events that may affect their daily work. If there is communication between workers and sub-leaders or leaders, the causes of work absenteeism will be much more understandable and fixable. 

Poor leadership, over-demanding tasks or mistreatment, generate stress and, consequently, an increase in absenteeism from work.

How to calculate absenteeism from work? 

Calculating absenteeism from work through a formula is a good way to make a quick and efficient calculation. According to BambooHR, the formula to calculate is taking the number of unexcused absences in a period of time. That must be divided by the total period and multiply the result by 100. This is how we will obtain the percentage of absenteeism during a month, year or other period of time. 

Absence rate = ((Number of unexcused absences) / Total time period) x 100

For example, Carlos has three unexcused absences in the course of a month, this if we consider about 25 work days. To calculate your absenteeism rate:

Absence Rate Calculation
3 absences during 25 business days
3 / 25 = 0,12
0.12 x 100 = 12% Absence rate

To tell the truth, there is no percentage that indicates what is more or less absenteeism. Everything will depend on the trend of the workers and the areas. If you do not have attendance control systems or Excel spreadsheets, It may be a good choice. 

Solutions to reduce absenteeism from work with Excel 

Excel is an Excellent tool that will help reduce work absenteeism. Below we outline some practical spreadsheet solutions for your organization. 

  1. Attendance records in Excel: An effective way to control work absenteeism through the attendance record in Excel. In fact, it is the ideal solution for small businesses and does not require major investment. In this way, heWorkers can enter their start and finish times in an Excel sheet. This allows those in charge to have an updated record of each of their attendance.
  1. Analysis of absenteeism patterns: By entering attendance data into a spreadsheet, talent managers can identify patterns in work absenteeism. For example, the days of the week or months of the year in which there is more absenteeism from work. In this way, a trend can be established as to which periods there is more or less absenteeism. 

For example, in winter due to respiratory diseases or vacations in summer. 

  1. Calculation of costs of absenteeism from work: Absenteeism from work not only affects the productivity of the company, but it can also have a financial cost. This calculation can be used to justify the implementation of policies and programs that reduce work absenteeism.

Frequent questions

What is absenteeism? 

Absenteeism is any failure to remain at work as scheduled, regardless of the reason. Absenteeism is often unplanned, for example when someone gets sick. However, there are also ways in which it can be planned, for example, a workers' strike.

What causes worker absenteeism?

There are factors of the worker himself, for example, illness, birth of a son or daughter, care of the elderly, family matters, among others. They can also be organizational factors, such as task overload, little incentive for work well-being or inadequate leadership. 

How to reduce absenteeism in the workplace?

There are a series of actions to reduce work absenteeism, such as: workplace well-being policies, adequate attendance management and incentives for employees, such as training or training programs.

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