Earlier this year, SHRM and Kronos conducted a study of the impact of employee absence on organizations and employees. The holiday season is, of course, particularly hard hit with employee absences. We've done research on this topic before, though the emphasis has been largely on the financial impact of absence. This study, like the prior research, underscores the greater impact that unplanned absenteeism has on the bottom line.
Unlike the prior research, though, we asked questions about the impact on coworkers. What we found was that the party affected most by unplanned absences seems to be colleagues, as the study shows that their perceived productivity loss is most affected (29.5% productivity loss for co-workers in the U.S.). Coworkers report feeling more stressed when their colleagues are out, especially when those absences are unplanned.
Absences, planned or otherwise, are going to happen. People have lots of legitimate reasons why they need time off - childcare, elder care, illness, appointments, and also the need to recharge once in a while. Organizations can't avoid absences, but there are things they can do to mitigate the impact of absenteeism in the workplace:
For more ideas about how to manage absenteeism during the holidays, you can listen to this podcast conversation between Sharlyn Lauby, the HR Bartender and retired Girl Scouts of Eastern Mass CEO Ruth Bramson.
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