Building a Healthy Workplace Culture: A Key to Decreasing Employee Absenteeism

StrategyDriven Corporate Cultures Article | Building a Healthy Workplace Culture: A Key to Decreasing Employee Absenteeism

Employees play a significant role in determining the success of your business. That’s why it’s crucial to have active workers who show up when they’re scheduled. However, most organizations find themselves in an undesirable situation of having one or more employees often showing up late or not at all.

If left unchecked, employee absenteeism can lead to reduced productivity, increased burnout, and employee turnover. This article details what employee absenteeism is, its causes and strategies to decrease employee absenteeism in the workplace.

What Is Employee Absenteeism?

Absenteeism refers to frequent or unscheduled absence of employees from work without a valid reason. While it’s acceptable for an employee to take occasional leave when they’re ill or need a vacation, they’re normally expected to be present during their working hours.

Causes of Employee Absenteeism

Employee absenteeism can result from a variety of reasons. Though every reason is unique, here are some common causes of absenteeism:

  • Illness: Medical appointments and illnesses are commonly reported causes of employee absenteeism. It’s normal for employees to skip work due to mental or physical reasons, or even to take care of family or a sick friend.
  • Workplace Toxicity: Factors such as workplace bullying, toxic work environment, poor management, and harassment can lead to absenteeism. Employees who don’t feel comfortable or safe going to work tend to remain at home more.
  • Staff Disengagement: One of the key factors that determine success in an organization is employee engagement. Decreased employee engagement lowers morale and productivity, and increases employee turnover.
  • Employee Burnout: Mental health and employee productivity can suffer when they’re pushed beyond limits. As they recover, they’re more likely to skip work because of their need to recover. 

Strategies for Decreasing Employee Absenteeism

Preventing employee absenteeism is important for maintaining employee morale and overall success. The following strategies help to control absenteeism in the workplace:

Promoting a Healthy Work Environment

An environment that promotes open communication, employee appreciation, and collaboration is essential for reducing absenteeism. Team building activities such as group outings can promote bonding among employees and build trust. Additionally, open communication enables staff to express their concerns and ideas and get feedback freely. 

Health and Wellness Programs

Implementing health and wellness programs that promote regular check-ups, preventative care, and mental health support can benefit employees and employers. These wellness programs can boost employee morale and decrease health-related absenteeism while encouraging a happier, healthier workplace.

Set Realistic Goals and Workloads

Organizations can decrease absenteeism by ensuring employees’ workloads are reasonable. Overwhelming employees with too much work can cause frustration and burnout, which leads to absenteeism. 

Utilizing the Best Time Tracking Software, for instance, not only enhances productivity by providing a clear overview of work hours but also promotes accountability and a sense of accomplishment.

Emphasize Communication, Trust and Transparency

Employees and managers should easily communicate, trust one another, and be transparent. They should also be able to tell their managers why they may need additional time off or to switch to a flexible schedule without fear of consequences.


With the right strategies, organizations can effectively manage absenteeism. Factors such as illness and employee disengagement can lead to absenteeism. Implementing policies and procedures that emphasize employee well-being can decrease absenteeism. Ultimately, organizations can attract top talent by fostering a healthy work environment.