The 3 most impactful ways to reduce absenteeism

Melanie Bochmann
By Melanie Bochmann
3 min. read

As The Guardian reported, absenteeism in the workplace is at an all-time high. This poses a significant challenge for companies striving to maintain productivity and meet business goals. Whether it's due to illness, personal reasons, or lack of engagement, absenteeism can disrupt workflows, strain resources, increase time and money spent on administration, and affect overall performance. Particularly for businesses relying on temporary workers, mitigating absenteeism is not just about filling shifts but also about maximizing efficiency and optimizing operations. So, what are the most effective strategies to tackle this issue head-on and ensure a consistent and reliable workforce? Let's delve into the three most impactful ways to reduce absenteeism in temporary work:

1. Embrace transparency from the very beginning

One of the biggest challenges in staffing are mismatched expectations - starting right at the beginning: vague job descriptions can lead to the fact that people sign up for jobs they might not end up enjoying, and vice versa, companies might get workers that are not the right fit for the role. This can be a major reason for absenteeism, as workers might feel unhappy, overwhelmed, or simply like they are not in the right place. 

That’s why tackling the absenteeism challenge has to start at the beginning - when opening up a new position. By providing potential candidates with as much information as possible about what their work environment and tasks will look like, there won’t be any surprises further down the road. If possible, include details such as the exact location (people want to know what their commute will look like!), start date, and salary in the job details (see an example of how we tackle this at Job&Talent). You can even take it one step further and include photos or videos of the work environment, showing what a day in the job could look like (this is what our team in Spain is currently testing).

2. Create an engaging work environment

Now that you hired people that are a great fit for the role and know exactly what to expect from their day-to-day, you should build upon this foundation by fostering a positive and engaging work environment. This is essential for fostering employee satisfaction and motivation, which in turn can significantly reduce absenteeism: Temporary workers are more likely to show up consistently when they feel valued, respected, and connected to their workplace. This can also prevent mental wellbeing issues - one of the main reasons for absenteeism.

To make their workplace more engaging, companies can implement various initiatives such as:

  • Create an effective and people-centric onboarding process

  • Establish regular forms of recognition and appreciation 

  • Offering channels for communication and feedback 

  • Providing flexibility with shift scheduling to promote work-life balance

Want to dive deeper into how to keep your temporary workforce engaged? Read this article. 

3. Leverage data insights to review your absenteeism management strategy

Even if you do everything in your power to reduce absenteeism, let’s face the reality: you won’t be able to avoid it entirely. People will be out for various reasons, such as sickness or personal emergencies. While providing support for employees to navigate these situations (such as making it super easy and clear how it works to call in sick), you can also safeguard your operations at the same time, leveraging technology to minimize the impact of absenteeism on your productivity. 

Workplace management platforms like Job&Talent Business can not only help you to plan your shifts efficiently, but provide real-time insights into attendance, helping you to… 

  • Get instant notifications about no-shows, allowing you to act immediately to fill any productivity gaps; 

  • Understand absenteeism trends (such as peaks in absenteeism on certain weekdays), enabling you to anticipate gaps and plan ahead; 

  • Easily gain visibility of the no-show record of workers, identifying your most reliable team members. 

While absenteeism will certainly always remain a challenge for companies of all sizes, a combination of a human-centric approach and technological solutions can help you mitigate its impact and ensure your workforce is loyal and engaged while your productivity remains on a consistent high. If you’d like to discuss this further, reach out to us anytime!

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