attendance culture

Supporting employees with genuine illness and caring responsibilities underpins the policies and procedures of many employers. However, absenteeism is a significant issue that has the potential to reduce productivity and damage the credibility of an organisation.

Why should you focus on attendance?
Fostering an attendance culture is a key component of ensuring your business continues to meet its goals, objectives and performance criteria whilst also delivering high quality services to clients and customers.
Workplace absence has a negative impact on performance and, regardless of whether it is across the organisation or isolated in pockets, often reflects unhealthy organisational and management practices.
Excessive absences often coincide with poor performance, high turnover rates and low organisational commitment.

What causes workplace absence?
There are many causes of workplace absence often involving a combination of individual, managerial, organisational or other factors.

Illness or injury

  • common short term seasonal illnesses
  • complex health and lifestyle factors
  • injury and illness arising from workplace factors (i.e. physical and psychological injury)


Non-work related factors
  • caring responsibilities which may arise at short notice
  • family, personal or household emergencies requiring the employee to spend time away from the workplace

Motivation, attitudes and behaviours
  • stress, anxiety and depression caused by work demands
  • workplace factors such as low job control, team structure, poor job fit, lack of flexibility in work arrangements,
  • organisational culture, organisational change and job security
  • interpersonal relationships at work, low levels of support and communication
  • poor leadership styles and management practices
  • an entitlement culture

There are numerous strategies that can be used to improve attendance, which one(s) depend on knowing the causes. However, any strategy designed to address the underlying causes of workplace absence is more likely to be effective if it includes:

  • a focus on developing a highly capable nucleus of leaders/managers
  • a culture of engagement and performance, and
  • a set of integrated people management practices.

Options would include:
  • Organisational commitment to manage absence and establish attendance expectations
  • Investigation and analysis to understand causes of absence
  • An absence strategy that is relevant and implemented
  • Developing and supporting line managers
  • Effective people management practices
  • Flexible working conditions
  • Health and well-being promotion and injury prevention and management

      If you need to analyse absence through stress or well-being surveys, or develop effective absence management practices contact LifeCraft enquiries@lifecraft.co.uk

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