An unexcused absence refers to when you take time off from work without the approval or authorization of your boss or manager. Unexcused absences aren’t organized or approved by an employer. For instance, it is commonly considered an unexcused absence if a worker takes a vacation week without notifying their boss or manager.
How much unexcused absenteeism is acceptable per year?
3–4 unscheduled absences per year are acceptable by most employers. It has been noted that the average absent rate for service occupations falls within 3.4 absences.
What is the absenteeism rate?
The absenteeism rate tells you how many workdays someone missed over a specific time frame, like a month, quarter, or year. You can figure out the number of days your employees miss for each period by calculating for your business.
Absences generally refer to unscheduled, unapproved days off from work, such as those that result from a worker phoning in ill. Absenteeism is when people miss work regularly. Workers who seek approval or authorization for personal or vacation leave in advance are not counted as being absent.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that the overall full-time absence rate for wage and pay workers is 3.2%. This implies that on typical workdays, 3.2% of the workforce is usually missing.
Employee absenteeism is caused by a variety of factors. Sometimes employees miss work for good reasons, such as being seriously sick. But sometimes, employees may come up with an excuse not to work or not show up for work without telling you.
An employee may be absent from work because:
- Childcare challenges
- Family and other responsibilities
Best Practices for Reducing Absence in your Business
Here are some actions you can take to lower your absence rate:
Make a clear policy on attendance.
Your employees should be fully aware of the policy on punctuality and attendance. Thus, your policy should specify how employees are to notify absences, how your business will manage absences that are not approved, and what the penalties are for excessive absenteeism. Lastly, you should regularly implement your policy if you want it to be taken seriously.
Reward Good Attendance
Putting in place a reward system for employees with great attendance rates is a good way to encourage them to show up at work. However, tread cautiously with this one and take into account that there are justifiable reasons for absences, such as sickness and ill health. As a result, the reward system shouldn’t diminish the performance of employees who have been given the authorization to be absent.
Deal with unauthorized absences asap
You should handle cases of absenteeism in line with your attendance policy and be impartial when enforcing penalties. However, dealing with unscheduled absences requires more than simply enforcing penalties. Furthermore, you have to be empathetic and supportive of your employees. Examine the root cause of their absences; they might be confronting a challenge that you can assist them with.
In that regard, an excellent technique is to implement a return-to-work interview. This lowers the likelihood of absenteeism from work, supports the employee in reorienting to their job role, and reflects the company’s care for its employees.
Prioritize the well-being of employees
Absenteeism is mostly connected to an exhausting or unpleasant workplace. Then you can check for strategies for minimizing stress at work, like starting a wellness program or taking the right steps to prevent harassment.
Ensure you prioritize caring for the employees’ health. Health and well-being are vital to a productive and motivated working population.
Provide flexible work options
Offering flexible working hours is a great way to improve staff morale and loyalty to the company. So, you should think about setting up flexible hours and working remotely. Some businesses even implement unlimited vacation policies!
Encourage employee engagement
A great strategy to improve your staff loyalty and commitment and encourage work participation is to boost their engagement.
This means setting up an excellent internal communication system so that employees can figure out what’s happening in the company, suggest upgrades, file complaints, etc.
It also implies funding training and development schemes for employees. Workers can then grow their talents and become more engaged in the activities of the organization.
Foster a collaborative culture
Building on our previous point, employee engagement is key to creating a sense of belonging. This will encourage better attendance rates and improve commitments toward assisting the company to meet its business goals. This will also discourage absenteeism as they will consider its consequences as well as how it can negatively impact their team.
Tell your employees not only how they can improve but also what they are currently doing well. In fact, offering encouragement and support makes them feel valued. They’ll be motivated to perform better and give their best effort, which will decrease their likelihood of absenteeism.
People are absent from work for numerous reasons. Most times, it is due to vacation trips or personal leave. However, the effects of high absenteeism can have a negative effect on productivity, staff morale, and, ultimately, revenue.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that 2.9% of full-time workers are absent from their jobs. Businesses must be aware of how absenteeism impacts the performance of employees, management and work activities.