William L. Padilla

5 Tips for Managing Absence in the Workplace?

No big goals can be achieved without proper teamwork. It is entirely responsible for any firm’ and office's success.

Teamwork gets your enterprise and business to reach the pinnacles of success, and therefore, the absence of one person or one employee can break your business's back. But a lot of the times, an employee has genuine reasons to take off, and in this situation, one cannot say no to the team member who had to attend to some serious events or sometimes to give time to their family.

However, in the UK, 30% of work absentia has been deemed to be for not-genuine reasons. The absence from the work has been causing a loss of about £100bn, as one of the sources reports.

This means that many absentees should not have occurred and that the employees are slacking off. You must gear up your game to deal with such issues if you are also dealing with the management of employees at your organisation.

Hence, the following absence management methods might be considered important and may render your useful service.

Run Surveys:

Run secret surveys about how your workers actually feel about the working environment in your office.

Sometimes, be a friend to them and learn from them the causes behind their absence. Be polite and welcoming to the suggestions.

Often at times, when the problems are not communicated, they turn into bigger issues, and work becomes a burden.

Therefore, keep checking on the superiors of your institutions if they are torturing any of your juniors with the workload, while keep checking the juniors if they are fulfilling the tasks during the assigned time.

These are informal kinds of surveys. The formal ones could be where you give out questionnaires to your workers and ask them to answer honestly and anonymously. Once they have poured out their hearts, you can pour in efforts to increase the attendance of your workers.

Return-to-work Policy:

Someone in your firm must be designated to deal with the long term absence of any member of the team. Usually, the reasons for the long term absence are clear. Whether the reasons are happy or sad, the person designated for such a position has to deal with the return of the employee sensitively.

A person, even if he has returned from vacation, needs time to get adjusted to the former routine. As soon as you place pressure on the person, from the day they re-joined the office, you are spoiling their days of fun and all the positive energy that they could have used to bring to the table.

If the person has been absent from work for some uneventful reasons, then it is obvious that you have to give your employee some time and space to return to their original self-state.

Supportive Absence Management:

Taking things a bit further, you can also have a counsellor at your institution if you can afford it. A counsellor would be a psychologist or psychotherapist who could intervene and handle the psychological pressures of your workers. When your employees see you dedicated so much towards their mental health, they would be more than responsible for coming to the office and helping your company achieve success.


Reward your employees. When you are happy with their punctuality and the efforts, they put in, incentivise these things. Skinner taught us all about the ‘operant learning’ and no matter how much human beings age, they still tend to perform well if they see they would be rewarded handsomely.

But if rewards do not activate their energy reservoirs, then punishments would do a great deal as well. Unkind it may sound, but if your employees are not coming to work and do not have any appropriate reasons, then you must not let the efforts of those who are being regular be hindered by the former ones. A little cut down on the salary or a moving lecture would do it. It would be a lesson to others as well.

Allow a Few Holidays Yourself:

This is also known as ‘Duvet Days’ policy. When you allow a number of days off per month or annually, the employees usually do not call in sick leaves. They would rather utilise those days as their holidays and would not burden your other staff members with their work.


Sometimes, the staff likes to take bogus sick day leave. It might be for a finale of football, or just because the ‘The heart wants what it wants. It’s okay to let it slide, as long as your workers has fulfilled the necessary requirements that the companies usually advise as part of their absence policy.

But if these things become too frequent, then you must roll up your sleeves and storm your brain with all the possible causes that are leading to work absence.

Do pay attention to the work environment in which your workers are working. In a world so full of distractions, or more like the distractions roaming with them in their pockets, even if they are attending the office and not paying attention to assigned tasks, it would be useless to have them at the office. Thus, let them take this one leave to freshen up their minds and return to their work more happily than before.

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