Absenteeism continues to rise in the UK
Latest absenteeism data
The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development have recently releases national statistics which suggest that absenteeism is once again increasing. The research has shown that every employee in the United Kingdom will take an average of 7.6 days off every year, a figure which can be costly and damaging to businesses and organisations of all sizes.
Patterns of absenteeism
While this figure is concerning enough for many business owners or managers, we can also consider patterns of absenteeism over special events like the school holidays. Owing to childcare costs and a lack of annual holiday, recent figures have shown that up to one in six working parents will have dishonestly taken a day off during the latest half term holiday. Over half of these parents had at least three children, and with ever-rising costs of living and childcare, it would appear that this figure is likely to at least remain constant, if not increase further.
How to reduce absenteeism
Business owners will understandably want to do all they can to reduce cases of absenteeism, and return to work interviews have been proven to be one of the most effective methods for lowering numbers. The issue of employee absence can often be sensitive, but with the correct training and preparation you can take steps to reduce your own company’s absenteeism, by extension saving you money and ensuring the continual smooth running of your business.
Training is essential
With the correct training, a return to work interview is an opportunity to express concern for your employee, while giving you the option to discuss and offer assistance with any underlying problems. The root of your employee’s absence could be an issue which either you or your occupational health department could assist with. By assisting with the problems which cause absenteeism, you’ll not only improve the efficiency of your workforce, you could also grant them peace of mind and a boosted morale.
Lack of training can make matters worse
Without correct training, it can be possible for return to work interviews to be rendered pointless, or even damaging to the employee and organisation. By focusing your concern on the organisation as opposed to the employee, you’ll come across as exploitative or money-grabbing, disregarding employee wellbeing in favour of profits. Similarly, by basing your interview on suspicions or presumptions, as opposed to facts and figures, you risk permanently alienating your employee.
Absence management training programmes
Conversely, absence management training programmes can teach your senior staff to conduct helpful and constructive return to work interviews, undertaken in a way which is assertive and effective – without being too aggressive or passive. You may be concerned that your interview will leave a member of staff feeling angry or embarrassed, or that your conduct will fall out of line with the policies and procedures of your organisation. However, the appropriate training will help to promote the fair and consistent treatment of employee’s returning to work, in a way which will both boost employee morale and improve future rates of absenteeism.
To safeguard your business or organisation against the potential damage of absenteeism, why not consider undertaking a training course in conducting the return to work interview? Not only can you improve future absence rates, you’ll also have the chance to reaffirm your employee’s sense of worth and tackle any issues which are causing problems.