How Does Absenteeism Affect Employee Engagement & Safety Programs

Employee Engagement Gears

It’s often easy to get caught up in the day-to-day grind of new initiatives, PPE enforcements and mandatory safety meetings, but is all this really enough to keep your team safe and fully engaged? While these elements are certainly important to the safety of your team, they fail to paint the full picture.

In fact, there are a number of important indicators that may go unnoticed, because we don’t formally associate them with safety. These “little inconveniences” may come across as mere nuisances, but they can seriously impact your employees’ engagement and overall safety. While a number of these causes exist, today we will focus on absenteeism.    

The True Cost of Absenteeism

Absenteeism is a necessary cost of doing business. After all, it’s only natural that employees will get sick or have personal issues that require immediate attention. The problem comes when absenteeism becomes a chronic issue. These constant absences start a vicious cycle that affects all elements of business -- especially safety.

So then, what causes chronic absenteeism? While there are a variety of reasons that employees may call out of work, we are going to focus on three of the most common:

  • Employee Disengagement – An employee who doesn’t feel motivated to commit to both their job and their company is more likely to miss work.
  • Burnout & Low Morale – Increasing workloads without recognizing the employee’s contribution creates stress and a general feeling of not being appreciated. This can lead employees to feel justified about taking additional time off.
  • Injuries – An understaffed organization, due to chronic absenteeism, can lead to an increase of on-the-job injuries, which in turn perpetuates the cycle.

How to Combat Employee Absenteeism in the Workplace

So, how do you determine if absenteeism is due to a legitimate reason or if an employee is simply taking advantage of your company? In short, you can’t. What you can do, however, is take steps to increase employee engagement and raise morale. This will ultimately increase productivity and lower injury rates across the board.

We have seen a trend in organizations implementing point-based safety incentive programs that reward employees just for going to work. Other organizations have begun being more proactive by creating wellness programs that incentivize employees for achieving healthier lifestyles and addressing employee health concerns, like getting flu shots and exercising more.

The idea behind these behavior-based programs is that healthier employees are happier and more motivated, which results in decreased absenteeism and increased productivity.

35 Ways to Influence Corporate Culture and Increase Your Bottom Line

 At C.A. Short Company, we are your partner for increased employee engagement resulting in increased performance outcomes to grow your bottom line. Our process and research-based platform helps you engage your team in order to increase your bottom line, motivate your staff to the benefit of the entire organization, and reward your people for the positive changes they make. To request a Complimentary Consultation, please click here. 

Topics: Safety, Employee Engagement

Jeff Ross, CPA, CRP, CSM

About the Author
Jeff Ross, CPA, CRP, CSM

CEO & CFO
Mr. Ross, a certified public accountant, joined the C.A. Short Company as its controller in June 1993 and was named Chief Financial Officer in November 1996. From there, Jeff was promoted to President and Chief Financial Officer, and in 2017, was appointed CEO. Before joining C.A. Short Company, Ross was employed as an accountant by Hausser + Taylor, a large public accounting and consulting firm. Jeff presently serves on the Board of Directors of 2XSalt Ministries, Charlotte, NC and is a member of North Carolina Association of Certified Public Accountants, The Ohio Society of Certified Public Accountants, and American Institute of Certified Public Accountants. Mr. Ross graduated from The Ohio State University with Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Arts degrees in 1989.

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