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Six Workable Tools to Reduce Unscheduled Absences

Updated on February 23, 2010


Absenteeism is a little bit like the common cold. You can't prevent it, but there are measures you can take to control it. There are obviously emergencies and sudden illness which will cause an employee to be absent without advance notice. So it certainly is necessary for you to be reasonable in recognizing this. On the other hand, a few culprits will occasionally attempt to take advantage of the situation. And, if they are allowed to succeed, then like the common cold, the practice will spread quickly. To prevent this from happen­ing try a few of the following techniques.

•      Know your company policy on unscheduled absence, let your people know what it is, and follow it in dealing with absences. If you don't apply it across-the-board you can run into trouble when you try to use it to discipline a habitual offender.

•      Make the most of any company incentives for good atten­dance. Measures such as bonuses and cash awards can be a big help to you in this area.

•      Insist that people contact you directly and don't just leave a message when they call in. At least if they have to talk to you, they're forced to come up with a good excuse.

•      Motivate people to come to work by letting them know they're needed. For example, when someone returns to work, say something such as, "Good to see you back, Jack." It not only makes people feel appreciated, but it also lets them know their absence didn't go unnoticed.

•      Make a point of asking if everyone will be in the day before a holiday. People may assume it's alright to extend the weekend if you tend to tolerate the practice.

•       Concentrate your efforts on the one or two people who tend to be the habitual offenders in calling with one excuse after another. These are people who will cause the most problems.


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