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Workplace Problems - Absenteeism

Workplace Problems - Absenteeism


Workplace Problems : Absenteeism

by Gareth Petrov

To deal with the issue of employees being absent it is necessary to look deeper than the surface of it. Superficial factors such as sickness, stress and lack of daycare tend to keep away from work only those employees who are not very motivated to be there in the first place.

The first part of the solution is the training of |managers on how to build supportive, trusting relationships with employees so as to foster open, two-way communication. Then there must be a holding of regular one-on-one meetings to gain an understanding of how employees feel about their jobs and what their motivation is. Focused attention like this in itself will foster a good degree of loyalty from them.

Then, managers need to find ways to increase levels of commitment. This includes the delegation of more responsibility, rotating tasks between employees, asking them for their input and praising them regularly for desirable actions. All such engagement must take place in regular individual and team meetings. Ad hoc attention will too easily drift into never.

Simple punishments are unlikely to work because there is always a way around them. Even if they appear to work in some cases, employees pressured to go to work are mentally absent whilst there. It is a a losing strategy because such measures create a negative atmosphere which can make the workplace seem like a prison, thus even further motivating them to avoid attending work.

For maximum results, focus should be given where there is the greatest likelihood of a positive return on time and effort. Employees should therefore be assigned to one of three categories, those who have legitimate reasons, long standing problem employees and those most responsive to other changes implemented in the past.

The employees showing themselves to be most responsive at the beginning of an anti-absenteeism drive need to be shown most attention. As for those who respond poorly, unless they are essential or very hard to replace, there will be no other option but to find replacements who are more committed.

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