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The Number ‘1’ Cause of P.E.O.P.L.E. Disease…


Employee Absence JMA

The Number ‘1’ Cause of P.E.O.P.L.E. Disease…


Employee Absence

Workplace culture and job satisfaction have a big impact on wellbeing and absence. The organisational culture influences employee absence.

Does your business have an absence problem?

How much is absence costing your business? (and I don’t just mean in direct costs)

Is the real problem the culture in your organisation?

Managing absence is one of the biggest staff issues that employers are faced with.  It can cause so much disruption to the business when a member of staff phones in sick. It is therefore important to ensure that it is well managed so that absence levels are kept under control.

If you have employees who are regularly off work sick these can really affect the moral of those who are left to cover their workload. If managers fail to deal with absence issues staff can see this as a weakness in their leadership.

The aim is to build a culture where people understand there are guidelines that protect the majority and highlight any high incidences of absence.

This is where the importance of having your People Foundations in place is crucial.

You need to ensure you have an absence policy in place that sets out what the business expects from employees.  This can link to one of your company values.

The policy needs to explain what an employee must do if they are sick and not able to attend work, who they must contact, how they should make contact and by what time.

I would also recommend including the reporting absence procedure in your employment contract and discussing this with all new employees on their first day as part of their induction.

One way to start managing absence is by conducting a return to work interview with the employee concerned on their first day back at work. I would recommend this even if they have only been off work for one day.

Managers need to be investigative and counseling in their approach during the return to work interview.  This will help uncover any underlying health or work problems that an individual might have.  Managers should stress the importance of good attendance, how this impacts the business.

The purpose of the interview is to:

  • Enable the employee to explain the reason for their absence.
  • Ensure the employee is well enough to be back at work and see whether they need any further support. For example, in the case of a long term sick absence, or recovery from a serious or traumatic illness, some employees may benefit from coming back on different hours to help them readjust back into work.
  • Assess whether the reason given is genuine.
  • Complete a return to work interview form.
  • Emphasise the importance of good attendance and explain why absence is continually monitored.
  • Raise any concerns regarding an employee’s attendance record and decide if further action should be taken.

Many cases are genuine but not all. By regularly monitoring all absence you will start to see a decline in sick days with your staff which will save the business money and improve the work environment and the business culture.

Think about this….you are going to build your dream house a place where the children can grow up, where you can create memories with your friends and family to last you a lifetime. Would you build it without any foundations?  No you wouldn’t. Not unless you’re completely mad, because you know what will happen. It will all come crashing around you. That’s what happens to a business when they are trying to grow but they don’t have the foundations laid, it tumbles.

Do you have the right People Foundations in place? If you are serious about having a successful business and you want to grow then you need to get these right.

Need help with your People Foundations? Contact me at people@jmassociates.org or call 01980 622167.


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