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5 Top Tips to Avoid Employee Absenteeism – Updated for 2018

It’s no secret that employee absenteeism can hurt a business. The cost of wages, temporary replacements, HR and admin alone are enough. Let alone lowered productivity output and quality. All of which can have a significant bearing on the health of your organisation.

Employee absenteeism and retention levels can have an impact on your company’s finances and reputation. In addition to this, if you’re losing critical staff members, other people could potentially be looking to move too. Low morale can affect the whole office and absenteeism can cause higher workloads for other members of staff. For mental health alone, employers in the UK are paying around £8 billion a year. Increased employee absenteeism can also lower morale, increase management frustration, create a negative environment, and increase workloads.

So what can companies do to keep employee retention levels high? At Business Cover Expert, we’ve put together a guide that might help you hire and retain loyal staff and avoid employee absenteeism.

1) Encourage a healthy environment

Often, employers aren’t aware of the health risks of their employees leading a sedentary or unhealthy lifestyle. Prolonged or excessive sitting increases the risk of deteriorating health. This includes diabetes, weight gain, mental health, back and neck pain as well as heart disease. Over time, this can cause more employee absenteeism due to illness or injury. It can also increase the cost of life insurance policies or health care, which can affect the business if these are offered in a benefits package.

A sedentary lifestyle increases health risks

Sedentary behaviour can also affect your mood, increasing the risk of depression and anxiety. This can dramatically impact the productivity and motivation of an employee. What’s more, it has been said that sedentary behaviour affects your brain health. Older adults are just as likely to develop dementia if they sit down for too long. In addition, it can directly affect sleep patterns, which means your employees will be tired, restless and not working at their full capacity.

Creating a better environment

In order to have a healthy company, the workforce needs to be healthy too. When a company promotes exercise and well-being, it can motivate staff and, in turn, increase productivity. You’ll have a happier environment containing alert and creative employees. Exercise releases endorphins and can create a better mood amongst staff members. By encouraging a healthy lifestyle, back sufferers will benefit from reduced pain and both physical and mental illnesses are reduced, which means more staff showing up to work.

How to improve the business

In order to create a healthy environment, you can keep the office properly ventilated, well-lit and at comfortable temperatures to keep staff happy.  In addition to this, offer free healthy snacks, cycle or walk to work schemes or gym memberships. You can also encourage staff to take holidays to prevent stress, create company sports teams or offer free health checks every year. Encouraging staff members to be healthy demonstrates you’re showing an interest in their happiness and helps lead to a more productive, and present, team.

2) Track and monitor employee absenteeism

Establishing the correct processes for employee absences can help you to monitor and track what is happening. Patterns might start to appear which can help employers to understand any underlying issues that might be going on. This can include low morale, ineffective management or an overworked employee due to lack of resources. Through a better understanding of the absences and a clear policy, improved employee attendance can be achieved.

Monitoring absence can be one of the best strategies to manage the situation. Often, when an absence takes place, a return-to-work interview is conducted where the employer can show support to for the employee and tackle any issues head-on. The addition of documentation also helps to detect any patterns in the employee’s behaviour. If the issue boils down to stress caused by the business, the company can then do something to sort out the problem. Equally, with back pain or injuries caused by the work environment, the company can then find a solution to provide a more comfortable work space for the employee.

When employee absence is tracked, the business is given an opportunity to help the employee and understand their issues. As a result, the business can benefit by identifying any issues they can solve to help the employee and decrease the level of absence.

3) Training and development

It’s important to encourage employees to continue to grow and develop. Often employees can take time off work due to stress. If they are not properly trained in their roles or are given more responsibilities without being given the tools to handle it, it can affect their ability to work. With training and development, the employer can directly become involved in the employees’ well-being and growth. This gives the employee the opportunity to discuss directly with a manager or mentor any aspects they may be struggling with. When this opportunity is presented, the employee can then benefit from changes made and training provided to better the situation.

How to introduce this into the business

The business can establish a progress and development programme where the employee is given goals to achieve. this can help to identify any areas they are struggling with. A training programme and regular reviews with management can help monitor the progress. As a business, training programmes and seminars can also be suggested or provided. This encourages staff to add to their skill set whilst also getting some time out of the office from time to time which can stimulate loyalty.

These types of benefits help employees feel like they’re listened to and helps to set achievable goals which are important in keeping employees on board. It also means that the employee will be able to manage workloads and be provided with the right tools to do the best job. This decreases the risk of stress and other health issues associated with a lack of development. As a result, the employee is less likely to take time off work.

4) Offer employee benefits

Providing competitive benefits package can help to encourage the right employees to your business. In addition to this, it can keep employees loyal for longer. A competitive benefits package can include life insurance, health insurance and a quality pension scheme. It can also cover gym memberships and flexi-time options too. A better work-life balance combined with rewards and recognition helps to avoid employee absenteeism. Employees will feel appreciated and that their company recognises their achievements.

Employees often regard death in service, critical illness cover and private medical insurance as the top tier benefits. What’s more, offering relevant life cover can be tax-efficient for companies as you don’t pay national insurance or income tax on it. In addition to this, it provides peace of mind for employees as well as being an added incentive to stay loyal to the company. With health cover and life insurance benefits, it can also decrease money worries for employees, especially those with families or dependants. This reduces stress levels and helps to maintain motivation and productivity. By adding these benefits into your company package, employees can benefit and, in turn, the business will too.

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5) Communicating employee benefits clearly

It’s not enough just to offer perks to employees, they need to be actively aware and encouraged to take these onto help avoid employee absenteeism. When you offer health benefits such as life insurance, gym memberships or flexi-time, it’s important that employees are given the opportunity to utilise the tools. Companies can achieve this by sending emails, notifying employees via the company intranet or through posters.

It’s also important to clearly outline benefits on job descriptions and adverts to encourage the right type of employee in the first place. This will help to retain and attract quality staff members. Through active encouragement and constant communication of benefits, morale can be improved and absenteeism can be reduced.

Overall, your employees are your best asset to the company. Keeping them on board and reducing absenteeism can help to increase productivity and to avoid the cost of replacements. Follow our tips or ask your employees for the benefits they would like to see!

A guide to workplace absenteeism

Often, businesses aren’t fully aware of the costs that are associated with employee absenteeism. Our friends at Advance Systems have put together a guide to workplace absenteeism to help businesses see how important it is to prevent absence and actively encourage employees.

Help your employees and reduce your costs

It’s hard to ignore the costs of employee absenteeism when it can be so high. However, by providing your employees with benefits, encouraging a healthy lifestyle and establishing expectations these costs can be reduced. In addition to this, you can reward employees for good performance and set guidelines for absences to monitor and improve absence levels.

If you want to start decreasing employee absenteeism today you can start by looking into providing benefits.  We offer free advice and quotes on  life insurance, critical illness and private medical care.

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