Common Reasons and Possible Costs of Absenteeism


Absenteeism is probably the most common problem that every employer has encountered. When we say absenteeism, the employee’s absence from work is done habitually or intentionally. As an employer, I do not expect my employees to have perfect attendance for the entire year. I have set a window for a certain number of workdays that an employee will probably miss for the whole year. However, excessive absences is another story because it can affect the productivity of the entire workforce. It can have a direct impact on company finances and the morale of the employees, just to name a few. It is necessary for employers like me to know the root cause why employees frequently miss workdays and possible costs in productivity. In this way, I can find ways to diminish or totally eliminate absenteeism in the workplace. Let us take a closer look at the common reasons for absenteeism which may include, but certainly not restricted to the following:

  • Stress and burnout – If the workload is heavy and the employee does not feel valued for the effort exerted to accomplish each task, he or she will probably feel stressed and burn out. Aside from work related stress, the employee could be under personal stress which can actually lead to absenteeism. Stress could lead to physical and mental health problems, the motivation to work decreases.

  • Depression – This is related to the stress and burnout feeling that employees experience at work. When an employee feels depressed, he or she ha the tendency to turn to alcohol and drugs in order to combat the pain and anxiety that he/she is experiencing.

  • Injuries – As an employer, I have to make sure that the workplace is safe all the time. Safety should be the top most priority. Accidents can happen while at work and this could lead to absenteeism. Employees may also experience chronic injuries at work such as back problems and neck problems. These matters should be properly addressed as well to prevent absenteeism.

  • Illnesses – As an employer, I have heard this excuse a lot of times. It is probably the most commonly used reason for missing work. Unfortunately, not all employees will say the true reason behind not reporting to work. It could be the most creative reason they can think of. However, there are those employees who were really down with illness. Do not be surprised if the absenteeism rate would increase during flu season. Some employers would pay for the cost of the flu vaccine as protection for their employees when flu season comes in.

  • Child or Elderly Care – Aside from health-related reasons, child care is another issue that employees have to deal with. Some of my employees were forced to miss several work days because they had to stay home and look after their children or elderly. When the usual caregiver cannot report to work, employees are left with no choice but to stay at home.

  • Job Hunting – One of the reasons why employees would call in sick is to attend a scheduled job interview. There are employees who are not satisfied with their work or want to try something new, hence they are willing to sacrifice a day’s work to attend an interview or simply submit their resumes to the headhunter.

  • Lack of involvement – I have noticed that there are employees who lack involvement or commitment to their jobs or the entire company. It is very easy for them to miss work days because they lack the motivation and inspiration to drag themselves out of the bed and go to work.

These are the most common causes for absenteeism. Now let’s take a look at the possible costs or the effects of absenteeism in the company’s bottom line.

  • Lost of Productivity – When an employee calls in sick, I can always find someone to cover up the work. However, if the employees are not prepared to take or perform the task of the absent employee, it will certainly affect the productivity rate. Absenteeism can also affect the special tasks or projects assigned to a particular employee. People who asked to cover up the tasks assigned to absent employees may not provide the same results especially if they are not really familiar with the tasks.

  • Overtime Pay – Somebody got to do the task and employers like me are left with no choice but to pay overtime pay for workers who would pick up the job of the absent employees. They called in employees will receive the regular pay plus overtime pay in order to do the task for the missing employee.

  • Human Resource Cost – For huge manufacturing companies, the Human resource department would have to find someone to take in the work of the absent employee. Looking for temporary replacement would entail re-assigning other employees to fill in the position of the absent employee. This has to be done quickly so that it will not translate to lost production.

To fix the problem with absenteeism, the management should have a systematic approach to ascertain the cause of absenteeism. Check out for possible patterns during the occurrence of the event. Giving the employees higher pay could help curtail the problem. However, determine the people who take their work seriously and never fail to show up every single work day and make sure that they get what they deserve as well.

Author bio:

SB is a guest blogger and business writer for Loans for Bad Credit. He likes to write business and finance articles and he is good at web design.


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