Absenteeism and Tardiness: How to Correct HR's Most Persistent Problem

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With 62 percent of Americans admitting they are stressed out about work, it's no surprise that employees feel the need to play hooky on occasion. In fact, nearly 33 percent of workers called in sick when they were well at least once last year. Close to one in ten employees who called in with a fake excuse said they did so to miss a meeting, to work on a project outside of work, or to avoid a manager or colleague.

While taking what some call a "mental-health day" to cope with workplace stresses may seem insignificant, such absences cost employers nearly $1,000 per worker per year. The total cost of employee absences, both planned and unplanned, is as much as 36 percent of the average payroll, which amounts to more than twice the cost of health care. And even if employees are showing up for work, how many of them are late? One in ten employees say they are late for work at least twice a week. It's evident that chronic tardiness and absenteeism cost employers big bucks each year, not to mention productivity.

So what can you do?

Crafting an effective attendance policy and opening the doors for communication are vital to addressing absence or tardiness issues with employees. Having a strategy in place can help you step up to this challenge before it becomes detrimental to your organization's productivity and profitability.