People First HR Services Newsletter: Absenteeism

Manitoba Non-Profit Housing Association’s exclusive partnership with People Corporation provides cost-effective solutions for employee benefits, human resources consulting, and group retirement services. The HR @ Your Service offers multiple levels of support to address your needs, including on-call support plans, drafting and creating policy documents, employee engagement and management, and more

This month, Ask the Expert provides advice on employee absences. Employee absences can sometimes act as a barometer of sorts for employers on how our people are feeling about their work. When it comes to absenteeism, we can make a couple of generalizations: Staff who are engaged in their work are more likely to have regular attendance; and staff who may be struggling at work or at home have more absences.  Of course, a follow up conversation with the employee to ensure our assumptions are correct needs is crucial, but absenteeism is often a first symptom that an employee may be experiencing challenges.

When employers are thinking about how to manage absences, there are a few practices that will ensure that small problems don’t become big ones.

Track absences:  Whether it is sick time, vacation days, or personal days, employers need to make sure they are tracking employee leave correctly.

Policy and process matters:  When employees are provided with information at their orientation/during onboarding on what to do when they need to be absent it supports the creation of an environment of transparency.

Don’t ignore it:  If there is a pattern of absence, plan a conversation.

Be open, and ready to respond:  When we ask our people to give us feedback on why they don’t want to be at work we’ve got to be ready to listen.

Ask for help:  Managers and employers may need to seek out guidance and resources to ensure they are supporting staff who need support or reasonable accommodation. They also may need support in managing the performance of staff who simply may not want to be there.  This is one of the times when @Your Service  is there for you and your business – just give us a call for ideas and guidance!

View the full People First HR Newsletter and Previous Newsletters Here