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Workplace absenteeism adds 25% on to your labour bill - stop it in its tracks by monitoring it closely

by , 08 February 2013
A study in US has calculated that the country's financial loss per year due to absenteeism in the workplace comes to the tune of $1 billion, reports TNN. That's a lot of money. In fact, estimates show that absenteeism can increase your company's labour bill by as much as 25%! Get to the bottom of your employees' absentee issues and you could save your company thousands of rand a month. Here's how...

'Absenteeism isn't just about your staff not being at work. It costs your company a great deal in money, time and productivity, not to mention your own frustration,' says Janine Nieuwoudt in The Practical Guide to Human Resource Management.
That's why it's so important you monitor your employee's absenteeism habits to ensure you can take corrective action.
To do that, here are three ways to identify absenteeism problems in your company as outlined in The Practical Guide to Human Resource Management.
Three ways to monitor absenteeism in the workplace
#1. Be aware of the warning signs
While employees may have legitimate reasons for their absence – such as genuinely being ill or undergoing an operation. Others may be taking a 'duvet' day just because they don't feel like coming into the office today.
It's the second scenario that's the problem.
Here are seven warning signs to watch out for so you can nip impending absenteeism in the bud before it happens:
  • Deteriorating performance on the job
  • Increased incidences of poor timekeeping
  • Heightened conflict with a manager or colleague
  • Declining morale
  • A perceived lack of opportunity going forward
  • Increase in 'home problems'
  • Declining health
#2: Look for patterns
'Very often absenteeism follows a pattern,' says Nieuwoudt. 'Employees may regularly take a Friday or Monday off, ensuring a long weekend. Some employees take a few extra days hoping no one will remember the last time they were off ill. Or their sick days coincide with major sporting events they're interested in!'
Thanks to HR software, you can now easily monitor absenteeism trends to spot employees who are abusing their sick leave.
#3: Keep accurate records
You may not know this, but the Basic Conditions of Employment Act require companies to complete daily attendance registers for all staff members.
When it comes to absentee issues, it's important to maintain and keep these records up to date so you have proof of recurring absenteeism if employee absenteeism leads to a disciplinary hearing.
Also ensure your employee completes leave forms each time he's off sick and that he supplies a sick note from his doctor if he's been off for more than two consecutive days or on a Monday or Friday.
By monitoring your company's absenteeism, you'll be able to identify whether the issue lies with a particular department or with a particular employee and solve the problem accordingly.

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