How to Minimise Employee Absenteeism?

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Everything you need to know about the measures adopted to minimise employee absenteeism. Absenteeism is a serious problem which affects both organizations and employees.

While organizations have to bear extra costs, employees have to suffer in the form of lower earnings because of absenteeism.

From the national point of view, absenteeism is a negative factor because it affects national output adversely.

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Therefore, measures should be adopted to control absenteeism so as to bring it to the lowest possible level. The lead for adopting such measures can be taken by employing organizations in an integrated way.

Absenteeism is probably a natural human reaction to the routine of modern factory life. There is a maladjustment between man’s instincts and desires and the regular working habits that are imposed upon him.

The routine can be relaxed or modified by grant of leave with pay, by shortening or redistributing scheduled hours, by having employees living nearer to their places of work, and by adjusting the physical condition of the plant, especially noise and ventilation.

Some of the measures adopted to minimise employee absenteeism are:-

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1. Adoption of Suitable Recruitment Procedure 2. Congenial Work Environment 3. Training and Counselling 4. Employee Welfare Measures 5. Two-Way Communication and Prompt Redressal of Grievances

6. Instituting Reward System 7. Automation and Computerization 8. Provision for Holidays 9. Realistic Targets 10. Superior-Subordinate Relationship 11. Interpersonal Relationship.

Additionally, learn about the measures suggested by encyclopaedia of social sciences to reduce the rate of employee absenteeism. The measures are:-

1. Provision of Healthful and Hygienic Working Conditions 2. Provision of Reasonable Wages and Allowances and Job Security for Workers 3. Adoption of a Well Defined Recruitment Procedure 4. Motivation of Workers – Welfare and Social Measures

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5. Safety and Accident Prevention 6. Liberal Grant or Leave 7. Improved Communication and Prompt Redressal of Grievances 8. Cordial Relations between Supervisors and Workers 9. Development of Worker’s Education.


How to Minimise Employee Absenteeism in Any Organisation? (Measures)

How to Minimise Employee Absenteeism – Top 16 Measures Useful in Controlling or Minimising Absenteeism

Absenteeism affects the organisation from multiple angles. It severely affects the production process and the business process. The effect of unauthorised absenteeism is more compared to other types of absenteeism. However, it would be difficult to completely avoid absenteeism. The management can minimise absenteeism.

The following measures are useful in controlling or minimising absenteeism:

i. Selecting the employees by testing them thoroughly regarding their aspirations, value systems, responsibility and sensitiveness.

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ii. Adopting a humanistic approach in dealing with the personal problems of employees.

iii. Following a proactive approach in identifying and redressing employee grievances.

iv. Providing hygienic working conditions.

v. Providing welfare measures and fringe benefits, balancing the need for the employees and the ability of the organisation.

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vi. Providing high wages and allowances based on the organisational financial position.

vii. Improving the communication network, particularly the upward communication.

viii. Providing leave facility based on the needs of the employees and organisational requirement

ix. Providing safety and health measures.

x. Providing cordial human relations and industrial relations.

xi. Educating the workers.

xii. Counselling the workers about their career, income and expenditure, habits and culture.

xiii. Free-flow of information, exchanging of ideas, problems etc.; between subordinate and superior.

xiv. Granting leave and financial assistance liberally in case of sickness of employee and his family members.

xv. Offering attendance bonus and inducements.

xvi. Providing extensive training, encouragement, special allowances in cash for technological advancements.


How to Minimise Employee Absenteeism?

The various measures or remedies adopted to control employee absenteeism are as follows:

(1) Sound and well defined recruitment policy and procedure.

(2) Provisions of healthy and hygienic working conditions.

(3) Formulation of employee’s attendance policy-induction of attendance bonus, scheme, reward for regular attendance.

(4) Provision of adequate, reasonable wages / salaries, allowances, incentives etc. for workers.

(5) Providing job security to employees.

(6) Motivating the workers by adopting different techniques of motivation such as self, group, positive or incentive, negative or fear, monetary, non-monetary etc.

(7) By providing more welfare facilities and social security measures such as provident fund, ESI, gratuity, pension, loans and advances, facilities etc.

(8) Improved communications and prompt redressal of grievance, reduces the absenteeism.

(9) Adequate leave facilities also reduce the absenteeism to a greater extent.

(10) Safety and accident prevention measures reduces the absenteeism.

(11) Job enlargement and job enrichment means increasing job content, additional tasks and duties etc. which do not require new skills helps to improve the attendance of the employee.

(12) Develop a cordial relation between supervisors and workers.

(13) Giving a feeling of accomplishment, job satisfaction, their importance in the organisation to the employees, this will increases the regular attendance of the employees.

(14) Development of workers education.

A responsible worker aware of his rights and obligations, duties, he can bitterly understand the organisation and develop the qualities of leadership, loyalty, devotion active participation in work. All this reduces the absenteeism among the workers to a greater extent.

(15) Proper and frequent medical check-up keep the workers physically and mentally fit to work on their job. Because of this medical checkup workers health, will also improve and they will be more regular and sincere on their job.


How to Minimise Employee Absenteeism – 5 Important Measures that can be Adopted by Organizations to Control Absenteeism

Absenteeism is a serious problem which affects both organizations and employees. While organizations have to bear extra costs, employees have to suffer in the form of lower earnings because of absenteeism. From the national point of view, absenteeism is a negative factor because it affects national output adversely.

Therefore, measures should be adopted to control absenteeism so as to bring it to the lowest possible level. The lead for adopting such measures can be taken by employing organizations in an integrated way.

Some of the measures for controlling absenteeism are as follows:

Measure # 1. Adoption of Suitable Recruitment Procedure:

The magnitude of absenteeism can be reduced to some extent by adopting a suitable recruitment and selection procedure which can eliminate those candidates who are likely to show the tendency of being chronic absentees. For this purpose, more emphasis should be given on aptitude and personality factors rather than merely on knowledge and ability factors.

Often, organizations emphasize aptitude and personality factors in selecting the employees for higher positions but ignore such factors at lower levels where the rate of absenteeism is high.

Measure # 2. Congenial Work Environment:

Lack of congenial work environment, both physical and emotional, is one of the major factors for absenteeism. Poor working conditions lead to tardiness, disinterest, and work alienation. In order to overcome these, employees try to seek satisfaction elsewhere. Therefore, absenteeism can be controlled by providing good physical conditions at the workplace.

Besides, the employees should be provided emotional support through good leadership and supervision, interpersonal relations, and development of healthy work groups.

Measure # 3. Training and Counselling:

Employees should be provided training for developing their competence and modifying their attitudes towards work. Similarly, those employees who show higher level of absenteeism should be provided counselling to overcome their personal and family problems since these problems cause absenteeism.

Measure # 4. Employee Welfare Measures:

Absenteeism can be controlled by providing various welfare measures such as housing around the workplace, educational facilities, facilities to their children, etc.; other welfare measures to overcome employees’ occasional problems such as illness, marriages in their families, and any other hardships.

Similarly, social security measures such as provident fund, superannuation fund, gratuity, etc. should be provided to develop belongingness to the organization. Special awards and incentives may be provided to employees showing higher level of attendance.

Measure # 5. Two-Way Communication and Prompt Redressal of Grievances:

There should be emphasis on two-way communication — downward and upward — so that employees get opportunity to air their views and feelings. This encourages them to develop positive attitudes towards the organization. Similarly, if employees have grievances, there should be prompt redressal of these which provides them satisfaction. If possible, grievances should be redressed at the initial stage itself.

Other Measures:

Besides the above measures, organizations can adopt the following measures to control absenteeism:

(i) Organizations can seek the cooperation of trade unions to control excessive absenteeism.

(ii) Disciplinary actions and other penal provisions should be made in consultation with trade unions to control the chronic absentees.

(iii) Leave provisions should be made in such a way that these fulfil the genuine requirements of the employees.

(iv) Proper records of absence along with causes of absence should be maintained and analyzed to develop measures for controlling absenteeism.


How to Minimise Employee Absenteeism – 10 Important Measures Undertaken to Control Employee Absenteeism

Some of the important measures undertaken to control absenteeism:

Measure # 1. Adoption of Suitable Recruitment Procedure:

Absenteeism of employees can be mitigated to the minimum extent by tightening recruitment and selection procedure which should probe into one’s aptitude and personality factors rather than knowledge and ability factors. The selection of right candidate for the right job would certainly whittle down absenteeism.

Measure # 2. Congenial Work Environment:

Provision of good physical conditions like ergonomic desks, chairs, ventilated work environment, inspiring leadership, employee counseling, empathic supervisors, etc., would certainly control absenteeism.

Measure # 3. Training and Counselling:

Proper refresher training to educate them on the latest trends in a given field. This would kill absenteeism caused by monotonous work practices. Proper counseling to absentee employees would heighten their morale and counteract absenteeism.

Measure # 4. Investment in Welfare Measures:

Provision of housing quarters, transportation facilities, health care facilities, children education, canteen facilities, cheap credit, holiday tour facility, celebration of festivals, get together, etc., have potential to bond the employees to the company. Thus, it would generate a sense of belonging and loyalty to the organization. All these positive measures would cut down absenteeism.

Measure # 5. Putting in Place Grievance Redressal System:

There should be a sound grievance redressal mechanism. It should record the grievances and redress the grievances in a time bound fashion. When there is a delay, the reason should be explained to the grievant.

Measure # 6. Instituting Reward System:

Organization should institute rewards, both monetary and non-monetary, to encourage regularity of workers. Rewards have positive impact on punctuality, regularity, avoidance of idle time, etc.

Measure # 7. Automation and Computerization:

Manual record keeping, filing documentation, age old practices etc., should be replaced by machines and computerization. This would save a lot of labour and would make the job less stressful.

Measure # 8. Provision for Holidays:

The five-day work concept is universally accepted. This would enable the employees to come afresh mentally and physically. Similarly, employees should be given holidays on important festival days. This will enable the employee to be with their families. This fulfils the social needs of employees.

Measure # 9. Realistic Targets:

Organizations should set realistic targets. In other words, targets set by them should be attainable. This would boost the morale of employees and keep them from feeling frustrated on account of non-attainment of targets.

Measure # 10. Two-Way Communication:

There should be free flow of communication downward and upward so that employees get opportunity to air their views and feelings. This encourages them to develop positive feeling towards the organization.

Measure # 11. Superior-Subordinate Relationship:

Superiors, while allotting and assigning the work, should respect the human element of the workforce. They should not treat them as cog in the machine. They should respect values, sentiments, attitude of workforce. Similarly, workforce should realize their responsibility and work with a sense of commitment. Thus, cordial relationship has immense potential to cut absenteeism arising from broken relationship between the two groups.

Measure # 12. Interpersonal Relationship:

Employees should develop and maintain a smooth inter personal relationship with their workmates so that they can avail themselves leave and workflow goes undisturbed. Thus, mutual understanding among the staff would be a win-win situation both for the employee and employer.


How to Minimise Employee Absenteeism – Measures Suggested by Encyclopaedia of Social Sciences to Reduce the Rate of Absenteeism

As regards measures to be adopted to remedy the situation.

The encyclopaedia of social sciences suggests the following measures to reduce the rate of absenteeism:

1. Absenteeism is probably a natural human reaction to the routine of modern factory life. There is a maladjustment between man’s instincts and desires and the regular working habits that are imposed upon him. The routine can be relaxed or modified by grant of leave with pay, by shortening or redistributing scheduled hours, by having employees living nearer to their places of work, and by adjusting the physical condition of the plant, especially noise and ventilation.

2. The personnel management should encourage notification, especially in cases of sickness when the duration of absences is likely to belong.

3. In case of personnel and family circumstances, e.g., illness of children in the case of married women employees which make absences unavoidable, leave should be granted liberally.

4. Regularly in attendance can be encouraged to some extent by the offer of a bonus and other pecuniary inducements.

5. To reduce unavoidable absence due to sickness and industrial accidents, programmes of industrial hygiene and safety should by, strengthened.

It should be noted no single measure can be effective in controlling absenteeism; but a skillful combination of various measures would definitely lead to the desired results.

These measures are:

Measure # 1. Provision of Healthful and Hygienic Working Conditions:

In India, where the climate is warm and most of the works involves manual labour, it is essential that workers should be provided with proper and healthy working conditions. The facilities of drinking water, canteens, lavatories, rest rooms, lighting and ventilation, need to be improved. Where anyone of these facilities is not available, it should be provided. All these help in keeping the employee cheerful and increase productivity and the efficiency of operations throughout the plant.

Measure # 2. Provision of Reasonable Wages and Allowances and Job Security for Workers:

Some of the wages of an employee determine his as well as his family’s standard of living, this single factor is important for him than any other. The management should, therefore, pay reasonable wages and allowances, taking into account the capacity of the industry to pay, the level of wages prevailing in different units of the same industry in the same area in neighbouring areas, the productivity of labour and the general effect of rising wages in neighbouring industries.

The allowances that may be paid to workers should include old age allowance, length-of-service allowance, position allowance, special job allowance, good attendance allowance, transportation allowance and housing allowance, so that the worker may have and know security of employment.

Measure # 3. Adoption of a Well Defined Recruitment Procedure:

The selection of employees on the basis of communal, linguistic and family consideration should be discouraged or avoided. The management should look for aptitude and ability in the prospective employees and should not easily yield to pressure or personal likes and dislikes. Application blanks should invariably be used for a preliminary selection and as tools for interviews.

The personnel officer should play a more effective role as a co-ordinator of information provided that he has acquired job knowledge in the function of selection. Employers also should take into account the fact that selection should be for employees’ development; their reliance, therefore, on intermediaries for the recruitment of employees should be entirely done away with.

Measure # 4. Motivation of Workers – Welfare and Social Measures:

The management should recognise the needs of workers and offer them adequate and cheap housing facilities, free or subsidised food, free medical aid and transportation facilities to and for their residence, free educational facilities for their children, and other monetary and non­monetary benefits.

Their genuine difficulties—for example, their need of money at the time of marriage, death, family illness and disablement— should be recognised by the management and it should try to help them in this regard. As for social security measures such as the provision of provident fund, E.S.I, facilities, gratuity and pension, all these need to be improved, so that workers may have a sense of belonging.

Measure # 5. Safety and Accident Prevention:

Safety at work can be maintained and accidents can be prevented if the management tries to eliminate such personal factors as negligence, over-confidence, careless­ness, vanity, etc., and such material factors as unguarded machinery and explosives, defective equipment and hand tools. Job satisfaction and cordial relations between the workers and the employers would help eliminate most of the personal factors.

As for the hazards to which industrial workers are exposed, supervisors should ensure that proper operational procedures and safety instructions are followed in the course of work. Work groups should be taught safe methods of operation. In addition to consistent and timely safety instructions, written instructions (manual) in the regional language of the area should be given to the work force.

Measure # 6. Liberal Grant or Leave:

The management’s strict attitude in granting leave and holidays, even when the need for them is genuine, tempts workers to go on E.S.I, leave, for under this scheme, they can have 56 days in a year on half day. An effective way of dealing with absenteeism is to liberalise leave rules.

Measure # 7. Improved Communication and Prompt Redressal of Grievances:

Since a majority of the workers are illiterate, bulletins and written notices, journals and booklets are not understood by them. Therefore, timely illustrations and instructions, meetings and counseling, are called for. Written communication becomes meaningful only when workers can read and understand. As regards notice boards, too many notices should be avoided; only the essential ones should be put on the board, which should be placed near the entrance, inside the canteen and in areas which are frequently visited.

Measure # 8. Cordial Relations between Supervisors and Workers:

Cordial relations between the supervisor and the workers are essential for, without them, discipline cannot be maintained and productivity cannot be increased. One of the consequences of unhealthy relations between supervisors and subordinates is absenteeism. Therefore, supervisors should be given a proper training in this field to create an atmosphere in which willing co­operation exists between them and the work force, and workers would freely discuss their problems with their supervisors.

Measure # 9. Development of Worker’s Education:

The system of workers education should be so designed as to take into account their educational needs as individuals for their personal evaluation; as operatives for their efficiency and advancement; as citizens for a happy integrated life in the community; as members of a trade union for the protection of their interests.

This educational programme, according to the National Commission on Labour, should be to make a worker:

(a) Aware of his rights and obligations;

(b) A responsible, committed and disciplined operative;

(c) Understand the basic economic and technical aspects of the industry and the plant where he is employed so that he may take an intelligent interest in its affairs;

(d) Lead a calm, clean and health life, based on a firm ethical foundation;

(e) Understand the organisation and functioning of a trade union and develop qualities of leadership, loyalty and devotion to it, work so that he may intelligently participate in its affairs;

(f) A responsible and alert citizen.

(x) Other Measures.

(a) A supervisor should not be regarded as another worker and should be given definite authority to take action in all cases of absenteeism.

(b) There should be clear and definite rules and regulations on authorised and unauthorised leave.

(c) A proper record of each worker’s attendance should be maintained on a special daily attendance card.

(d) The rules and regulations relating to attendance must be explained to workers.

The employer, the employee and the State have a definite role of play. If each performs it properly and harmoniously, the problems of inefficiency, undesired conflict, low productivity, dissatisfaction on the part of workers and their low morale resulting in frequent absenteeism can be largely eliminated. Industrial relations in a democracy should be based on an integrated approach, aiming at individual satisfaction and group satisfaction, and achievements of the goals of the community and of the nation as a whole.


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