How to Deal With Employee Absenteeism


Written by Asim Qureshi
By Asim Qureshi, CEO di Jibble

Hi, I’m Asim Qureshi, the CEO and co-founder of Jibble, a cloud-based time and attendance software. I have several years of experience in building and scaling software products and teams across various industries and markets. Before I founded Jibble, I worked as a VP at Morgan Stanley for six years. I’m passionate about helping businesses improve their productivity and performance by understanding how to deal with employee absenteeism, the root cause of lower productivity levels.


Welcome to the fast-paced and competitive world of work, where organizations worldwide face the considerable challenge of dealing with employee absenteeism. When employees frequently miss work, it’s like a pebble causing ripples, disrupting productivity, straining team dynamics, and impacting overall performance. 

Sounds tough? Well, dealing with this issue requires more than just policy enforcement. It demands a proactive and comprehensive approach. In this article, we will dive into effective strategies and expert advice on how to confront employee absenteeism head-on. We want you to transform your workplace into a vibrant hub where employees are not only motivated but also committed and present in their roles. 

So get ready to learn the secrets to creating a work culture that ignites engagement, promotes well-being, and cultivates accountability!

Understanding What Causes Employee Absenteeism

Employee absenteeism can have various underlying causes, ranging from personal factors to work-related issues. Understanding these causes is essential for organizations to develop effective strategies to address and mitigate absenteeism. Here are some of the common reasons behind employee absenteeism:

  • Low morale
  • Toxic workplace
  • Health
  • Work-related stress
  • Lack of flexibility

Dealing With Employee Absenteeism

Employee absenteeism is a critical challenge faced by organizations today. To solve it, here are some effective strategies and best practices to deal with absenteeism, foster a more engaged workforce, and enhance overall productivity.

1. Establish a Transparent Attendance Policy

Having a solid attendance policy is essential. It keeps everyone in the loop about what’s expected in the company. Make sure the policy covers reporting absences, consequences for unapproved time off, and how to handle excessive absences. By setting clear guidelines, employees won’t be left guessing about their attendance and organizations can keep things on track. This leads to a productive and reliable work environment with fewer cases of absenteeism. So keep it real and set those attendance expectations to make your workplace better!

2. Accurately Track Employees’ Attendance

When it comes to dealing with employee absenteeism, accurately tracking attendance helps manage and address attendance issues. When you keep a keen eye on attendance records, you can catch recurring absences or those moments of excessive time off. Armed with this knowledge, you, as an employer, can dig deeper and figure out what’s behind these absences. Once you’ve cracked the code, you can take specific actions as outlined in your attendance policy.

Keeping tabs on attendance can also boost accountability among employees. When employees know their attendance is being monitored, they are more likely to pay attention to their schedules. This means fewer unexplained absences and a major improvement in overall attendance rates.

With all that being said, what’s the best way to accurately track employees’ attendance—or should I say, “absence”? An employee absence tracker! By harnessing the power of a reliable absence-tracking solution, you can accurately record and monitor employee absences. A software like this will also allow you to easily create and monitor employee schedules as well as create custom PTO policies for your team so no unexpected absences ruin your operations.

3. Foster a Supportive Workplace Culture

Showing unwavering support to your team is the secret sauce to dealing with absenteeism. Take the time for regular heart-to-heart chats with your employees, where you can truly understand their well-being and address any concerns. By lending a helping hand and putting a smile on their faces, you’ll be able to see a boost in morale, attendance, and the overall productivity of your company.

Lastly, don’t forget to celebrate your employees who always go above and beyond. While it’s easy to focus on the minority causing problems, take a moment to acknowledge and reward those who consistently give their all. Incentives tied to their stellar performance not only foster commitment but also naturally boost their availability, resulting in a more dedicated and present workforce.

4. Offer Flexible Work Arrangements

Break free from the traditional 9-to-5 mindset and embrace the power of flexibility. Offering flexible work arrangements can make a world of difference in keeping your team engaged and present. Whether it’s allowing remote work options, adjusting schedules, or implementing flexitime, providing flexibility shows that you understand that life happens outside the office walls.

Flexibility doesn’t just benefit employees; it benefits the company too. When employees have the flexibility to manage their personal lives, they’re more likely to be happier, less stressed, and more motivated. This, in turn, leads to increased job satisfaction and loyalty, resulting in reduced absenteeism and higher productivity levels.

5. Address Absences Promptly

Action must be taken if employee absenteeism starts to get a little excessive. Start by having a friendly chat with the employee, without throwing the book at them. The goal here is to understand and acknowledge the reasons behind their absences and work together to find solutions. During this chat, remind them of the company’s attendance policy and the expectations you have for them. Keep an eye on their attendance moving forward and, if needed, consider taking further disciplinary steps such as official warnings or, as a last resort, termination. Remember to keep thorough records of any disciplinary meetings for future reference.

When dealing with absenteeism, it’s all about finding the right balance between support and accountability. By handling the situation with compassion and empathy, we can help employees recognize the importance of their attendance while also working towards improving their situation for the betterment of themselves and the company.

6. Lead by Example

As a leader or manager, your behavior sets the tone for the entire team. By demonstrating strong attendance habits and showing up consistently, you send a clear message that attendance matters. Leading by example means being punctual, reliable, and committed to your presence in the company. 

By setting the right example, you’re not only fostering accountability but also nurturing a sense of responsibility and professionalism in your team. And here’s the kicker: encourage other managers and leaders in your organization to do the same! When everyone’s on board with valuing attendance, you send a consistent message throughout the company. When employees see their leaders walking the talk, they’re more likely to step up their attendance game too.

Final Thoughts

Remember, addressing absenteeism requires a proactive and holistic approach that considers the unique needs and challenges of employees. By using these methods for dealing with employee absenteeism, you can create a work environment that not only promotes attendance but also enhances engagement, productivity, and overall employee satisfaction. So let’s strive for a workforce where absenteeism is minimized, and employees feel valued, supported, and motivated to give their best.