How Small Businesses can Reduce Employee Absenteeism

How Small Businesses and Start-Ups can Reduce Employee Absenteeism


For some businesses, absenteeism remains a hurdle to success. Experts suggest that renewed commitment to increasing customer service has taken away focus from issues such as employee retention and absenteeism. Actually, the impact of employee absenteeism is not measured in terms of revenue; therefore, it is easy for both small and large firms to miss the overall affect.

Accordingly, it is also not always easy for managers to design an effective policy that will keep employees motivated. Whenever managers try to device policies regarding holidays, they often seem to forget that employees have certain rights, which cannot be taken away from them.

In a worst-case scenario, forcing employees to come to work may backfire. Because results of policies pertaining to employee absenteeism are hard to assess, ineffective workplace policies can result in unexpected losses that are hard to recover.


Attendance Policy Issues
Attendance Policy Issues

Insightful Attendance Policy Issues

This brief article intends to offer useful insight to business managers and policymakers on how to effectively cope with matters related to employee absenteeism. However, before discussing the topic, it seems pertinent to highlight certain laws that provide irrevocable rights to employees for taking a leave. As such, managers should be very careful in dealing with the following issues:

Family Leave:

The Family and Medical Leave Act gives employees right to take leave for taking care of family members who are facing serious health problems.

The Americans With Disabilities Act:

ADA is among the most well-known laws, which provides clear instructions to employers regarding absentees from treatments and conditions related to disability.

The Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act:

It is another popular reform, which specifically states that employees should be given leave for military service. In addition, it also offers employees job protection after a long-term leave.

Workers Compensation:

If the employee is injured, the Workers Compensation Act offers the employee right to take leave until they fully recover from the injury.

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act:

This law makes it mandatory for employers to accommodate leaves for religious holidays.

Jury Duty:

Under this act, an employer must ensure that employers are given leave for their Jury Duty. Accordingly, any retaliation from the employer is strictly prohibited.


HR Related Policies
HR Related Policies

Other HR Related Policies to be Aware of

Apart from the laws described in the preceding paragraphs, there are numerous other minor clauses that managers should be aware of. Since, it is extremely difficult to remember every law related to employee leave, it makes sense to adapt effective policies that will reduce employee absenteeism. Accordingly, prominent human resource experts offer the following suggestions.

Clear Instructions:

Every firm should have simple and clear instructions for their employees regarding absenteeism and tardiness. For instance, employees should understand that punctuality is important. Therefore, coming late for work without a solid reason may also count towards absenteeism.

Consistent Policy:

Large firms should adapt consistent absenteeism policy ensuring that managers across all departments are trained to deal with absenteeism and tardiness. Things like having standard employee vacation request forms for staff use. Inconsistent policy, where managers have different reactions to absenteeism will lead to claims of discrimination and favoritism.

Effective Communication:

Apart from clear instructions for taking leave, employees should be made to understand what to do in emergency situations, and who to call when they think they will miss work.


Give Paid Time Off
Give Paid Time Off

Give Paid Time Off:

According to recent research, firms that do not give enough paid time off to their employees suffer from unnecessary absenteeism. As such, policy makers should understand that employee motivation is a critical aspect of modern enterprise success.

Therefore, it is mandatory for business managers to relieve pressure from their employees by giving them adequate paid time off from their work. In fact, research has also shown that increasing the salary but reducing paid time off results in severe negative repercussions for the employer.

Employee Care:

Besides training employees to understand the employment law, firms should also understand that managers must undergo training to realize that certain employees may face unexpected hardships that can affect their performance. Under the condition, compassion should be a priority because supporting employees during hardships increases morale and workplace environment.

Incentives for Employees:

Incentives and rewards are one of the most common reasons for employee motivation. Perhaps, incentives can also include paid time off for employees who can meet a certain attendance threshold.


Job Transition
Job Transition

Job Transition:

After a lengthy leave, it is common for employees to take some time to adjust to working conditions. Therefore, it is necessary for firms to assist such employees during the transition process. It may also help to start giving light-duties to work from home before resumption of work after a long break.

The Bottom Line

Overall, business managers must understand that employment laws in developed economies like the United States are more employee friendly than employer friendly. As a result, the best method to reduce employee absenteeism is to devise effective policies that not only encourage employees to take less leaves, but also increase their awareness by giving simple and clear instructions. Hopefully, within a short passage of time, the firm will start seeing a positive impact on the work environment and business revenues.


This content was provided by Neches FCU, an Equal Employment Opportunity Employer Credit Union.
Neches FCU is one of the top Texas credit unions and has a courteous and attentive team of professionals ready to service it’s wide base of members. When the doors open at any of the nine service outlets, our core objective of Ultimate Member Satisfaction becomes the sole focus for every representative.