Unplanned Absenteeism

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Unplanned Absenteeism

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A few things that organisations do to reduce the chronic habit of unplanned absenteeism.

How many times have you arrived at work in the morning, in a perfectly good mood, only to start receiving those dreaded phone calls? The ones where your employees call in sick? They call, one after another, and then you realise over 10% of your team won't be in today.

What makes it worse is that you know these sick days aren't genuine! You come to the conclusion that it's going to be another hectic day? Here are a few things that organisations are doing to reduce the chronic habit of unplanned absenteeism.


Be more flexible with your employees and you'll notice a reduction in absenteeism. Make allowances for their commitments outside of work such as looking after their kids, attending tertiary studies, participating in hobbies, and having a work/life balance. Investigate job sharing possibilities, work from home options, and variable hours.

Ajuba Solutions is one Indian company that provides staff with reduced working hours in return for increased productivity, which has helped to control absenteeism.


Investigate the kinds of rewards you can offer your employees for not taking any sick days over a certain period of time. You may decide to pay out sick leave, to offer planned time off, gift vouchers, or anything else that acknowledges those employees that have gone a certain length of time without taking off any unplanned leave.

Management Style

Your authoritarian style may be contributing to your absenteeism levels. Make it a priority to always be approachable, communicate openly and transparently, exude a cheerful nature, and be consultative rather than dictatorial. The more your employees adore you as a manager, the less likely they are to take sick days.

At HeathScribe India, they've appointed a full-time "chief fun officer", who's responsible for creating a working atmosphere that's fun, enjoyable, and joyous in the office.

Boring Jobs

Your employees may be taking sick days simply because the job is boring. If this is the case, add variety to each role so that it's not monotonous, set targets that make each job challenging, and incorporate what your employees love to do into their everyday work practices.


Your employees' energy levels and work commitment is directly linked to the amount of exercise they do. For example, one study by the VU Medical Centre found that office workers who exercise once or twice a week are 50 percent less likely to call in sick. Consider implementing exercise classes at work to keep employees in good health.

Infosys, one of India's largest software exporters, has a 24-hour telephone info-line for employees who suffer from depression, where they can get access to psychiatrists.

Absenteeism is often a precursor to employee turnover. Take control of it quickly, and you'll avoid bigger problems down the track.
This Article is authored / contributed by ▸ James A. who travels from Sydney, Australia. James is available for Professional Speaking Work both Virtually and In-Person. ▸ Enquire Now.

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