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Definition of Absence management:

Absence management is the process of identifying the reasons for employee absenteeism and taking measures to reduce them. This helps in increasing morale and improves employee productivity. This is done by the means of effective time-off policies, regular one-on-one meetings and interventions by the manager, positive work culture and so on. It is also called as Attendance management in some organizations, since absenteeism (or absence) has a negative connotation.


Importance of Absence Management

For starters, absence management can negatively impact your company’s bottom line. According to the Gallup - Healthways wellbeing survey, companies in the US lose about $84 billion annually on lost productivity. Furthermore, according to the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development in the UK, an employee is absent from work for 6.9 day/year, with a median cost of absence per employee being £554.

While there is solid evidence that supports the need for absence management, an aspect of absenteeism is the work disruption and negativity in interpersonal relation at work. Those who come regularly to work end up burning the midnight oil, taking the load of folks who are absent.


Creating an Absence Management Policy:

Absence management is dealt with differently in each organization. Here are some points to keep in mind while creating an absence management policy for your organization. 

  • It should mention the number of paid-time offs (PTO), sick leaves, maternity leaves, bereavement leave that employees can avail. 
  • The absence policy, or time-off policy should let employees know about the standards and caps on the holidays they can take. If it helps, use time-off software that can help managers measure and report employee absence.
  • Let your managers know how to handle regular employee absence, on how the confrontation should be handled. 
  • Let your employees know how they should apply for time-offs, how soon should they inform their managers, and so on. This would help managers delegate or reduce the workload accordingly. 
  • Educate your managers on how to handle unplanned emergency absences and let your employees know how to approach and handle such unexpected situations.
  • Make sure to mention how long-term unplanned absenteeism would be treated, in terms of the disciplinary action, pay cut and so on. 


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