How can we fight absenteeism at work?

11/07/2018 by Hicham HMICHE

     


absenteeism at work

With an employee absent 16 days a year, France is no better ranked than Great Britain or Germany in terms of absenteeism at work. A real problem in the world of work, absenteeism, which is characterized by repeated absences from a person's workplace, is a major challenge for all the company's stakeholders. Finding effective solutions to identify and limit it is a real challenge for all managers, regardless of the size of the entity they manage. This article does not only reveal the causes of this scourge. It gives an idea of the consequences of absenteeism and the different means to be implemented to effectively curb it.

Know the causes of absenteeism at work

Identifying the causes of repeated absences from work is not an easy task as they can vary according to various parameters. Absenteeism is thus linked to the age of the employees concerned or to the jobs carried out. In the classification of causes, a distinction is made between those directly suffered by employees in companies. This category includes commuting or work accidents. Others are the result of slow wear and tear leading to work stoppages due to occupational disease. And even if workers' absences are generally attributed to personal problems, those related to working conditions are numerous. Repeated and short at first, work stoppages due to poor conditions in the company then become longer. This is not the case for employee absences justified by personal reasons. The duration of the work stoppage is also longer for older employees. The latter are absent for longer periods because of their inadequacy to changes in their position.

A careful analysis of the problems faced by employees on a daily basis is essential for a better understanding of the origins of absenteeism at work. This must cover various aspects such as the work atmosphere, workers' equipment, the managerial framework and working hours. These are elements that can have a negative impact on employee morale. This could ultimately encourage them to leave. Faced with the variety of these causes, effective and perfectly adapted solutions must be sought and implemented.

What are the direct consequences of absenteeism from work?

With an annual cost of 60 billion euros for French companies, the consequences of absenteeism at work are quite heavy on the financial level. These are not only financial but also organisational. The drastic decrease in productivity within companies is one of the negative effects of employee absences. And in an increasingly competitive world, absenteeism is a real problem for all entities, regardless of their size. A company's activity can be seriously disrupted when several employees are absent. For example, a task may be returned late or simply not done properly due to the absence of employees. In addition to the significant financial impacts, it is a phenomenon that causes disruption within structures. The fact that some workers are absent for a more or less long period of time can have a negative impact on the morale of other employees. A redistribution of roles is necessary under these conditions to maintain the continuity of the company's activities. And such an approach can have a negative impact on productivity insofar as appropriate measures must be taken to enable employees to adapt more quickly.

Leverages of action: bringing employees closer together

With an increase between 2014 and 2015 of 17% in France, immediate action must be taken to limit absenteeism at work.

Solicitation of actors: a necessity in the company to fight against absenteeism

To effectively combat the phenomenon of absenteeism at work, there are solutions. They consist in seeing work in a new way in some cases and are characterized by their very affordable implementation cost. The aim is to achieve a change of mindset. These are generally solutions that can only be considered if the problem has been previously and clearly identified. Because the causes are multiple, none of these recommendations are actually a panacea. But these solutions do not lack efficiency.

Listening to employee representative bodies or employees must be the primary quality of managers, managers or all influential persons in the decision-making process within the company, in order to take better account of the needs expressed by employees. This makes it easier to estimate the margin of manoeuvre available to resolve the situation.

In the same vein, managers must ensure that their employees have sufficient self-confidence to be able to express themselves better on the issue. Who better than employees living in problematic working conditions can make a difference? Managers must recognize that absenteeism is a real concern whose complexity goes far beyond what they might think. Under these conditions, finding a solution to limit this scourge is an absolute necessity.

The ultimate goal here is to accurately establish the situation and identify the real causes of absenteeism at work. Once this step has been completed, it will be necessary to consider the implementation of a tailor-made plan to resolve the situation. This method not only makes it possible to correct defects but also to protect its employees from any professional situation that could endanger their health. The association of management with the approach through awareness campaigns or training programmes is more than ever recommended. For the fight against absenteeism to be effective, all the company's stakeholders must be involved.



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