Get a Handle on Absenteeism

Today’s economic landscape doesn’t permit a lot of leeway when it comes to productivity, and that makes employee absenteeism a huge issue. Although there are plenty of legitimate reasons for not coming to work, some employees take liberties a company simply can’t afford.

To stop absenteeism before it gets rampant, here are some suggestions:

• Be a good example. Show up for work on a regular basis. When you’re out of the office, let employees know how they can reach you by phone or pager.

• Practice common courtesy. Make the workplace a pleasant place to be. Practice common courtesy by greeting all your employees every morning and letting them know you appreciate their work and dedication. Every now and then, provide breakfast for everyone—doughnuts, bagels, or coffee cake, for instance—to show you appreciate their coming to work every day.

• Reward people for good or perfect attendance. Keep track of attendance. Think about rewarding perfect-attendance employees to show you value their productivity. Just be careful. You don’t want to make the reward so tempting that employees push themselves to come to work while they’re sick—spreading germs and making the illness worse.

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