Our HR Helpline has been buzzing with queries from concerned businesses about the escalating issue of absence in the workplace. It’s no secret that absenteeism continues to rise annually in the UK.
Recent surveys found employees were absent an average of 7.8 days over the past year according to new survey findings from the CIPD. This is the highest level we’ve reported in over a decade and two whole days more than the pre-pandemic rate of 5.8 days.
When someone from the team is absent, it’s not just about the work they miss right away. It’s more than that. It affects how well the team does their work overall. It makes other team members feel stressed as they have to do more work. It also makes it hard to plan because the absences happen unexpectedly. If we don’t manage absences, it can cause big problems for the whole organisation.
Introducing Absent Angela
Spotting signs of absenteeism is really important. Let’s talk about someone like “Absent Angela” – she’s in many workplaces. Angela’s frequent absence messes up how the team works, causing problems and stress for her colleagues. If no one helps, this keeps happening and makes things tough for the whole department.
Dealing with absenteeism by the rules can be hard. It involves lots of meetings, paperwork, and following strict rules. But even if you do everything right, sometimes it doesn’t fix the issue. This can be because the absent employee uses their rights, making it tricky to solve things.
So, how can employers address such challenges? Here are some strategies:
Prioritise building robust employee relations, emphasising open communication from the start to gain trust and transparency within the workforce.
Ensure updated and transparent absenteeism management policies, providing a clear guide for handling such situations.
Consistently follow established policies, maintaining accurate records of absences while engaging with absent employees regularly.
Beyond managing absenteeism, focusing on building attendance is vital. Strategies include:
- Employee Engagement: Engage employees by involving them in decision-making processes, fostering a sense of ownership and commitment.
- Building Trust: Establish a culture of honest communication and feedback, emphasising competence and self-responsibility.
- Purpose-Driven Approach: Align staff with the company’s purpose, highlighting their value within the business.
- Well-being and Development: Prioritise staff well-being and continuous development to boost morale and reduce absenteeism.
Recognising an ‘Absent Angela’ in your team involves identifying specific behavioral patterns and consistent absence issues. Look for someone who frequently misses work without a clear reason or leaves colleagues in a lurch due to sudden, unexplained absences.
Absent Angelas might display a lack of commitment or engagement, causing disruptions in team workflow. They often struggle to meet deadlines or complete tasks, leading to frustration among their coworkers. Observing these repeated patterns of absenteeism and their subsequent impact on team performance can help spot an ‘Absent Angela’ in your midst.
Dealing with an ‘Absent Angela’ needs a careful approach. Start by talking to them to understand why they miss work often. Try to help if you can. Make sure everyone follows the rules about attendance. Keep a record of their absences and stay in touch to know how they’re doing. If things don’t get better, follow your company’s rules and involve HR or managers. They might need support or, in some cases, face consequences to fix the situation and keep things fair for everyone.
We’ve noticed a rise in absenteeism and have helped clients with similar cases. Now, we’re here to help you too. Park City offers HR expertise to ease your burdens and save costs. Book a free consultation with us to discuss your HR challenges and find tailored solutions for your business. Let’s work together for a more efficient workplace!