Keeping a workforce fit and firing is imperative for a company of any size. This is particularly true for small businesses, where weak links in the workforce will have more far-reaching consequences than those in larger enterprises. Consequently, ensuring employees are engaged and up to the task should be a priority, but are enough enterprise owners getting it right?
The cost of absenteeism
Absenteeism covers a number of forms. The two most prominent are when a worker is literally away from their workplace for any kind of extended period, and when a person is active but disengaged from their day-to-day duties - which is occasionally known as presenteeism.
The cost of either can be particularly detrimental. For example, BusinessNZ suggested that Kiwi companies lose around 6.1 million days of work activity per year due to employee absenteeism. In terms of tangible value, that adds up to around $1.3 billion.
Consequently, tackling absenteeism simply has to be a priority, but what are the best strategies to do so?
Starting the dialogue
Small Business BC explained that one of the best ways to deal with workplace absenteeism is to open up channels of communication with those employees who may have become disengaged. Many people often feel apprehensive to speak up when feeling stressed, burned out and so on.
Small and medium-sized enterprise owners should try and create a working environment that has an open-door policy, allowing employees to air their grievances if and when they arise.
In terms of improving engagement on a widespread scale, making the workplace more innovative can be a good starting point. Specifically, granting staff the use of technologies to make their working days easier - such as CashManager from Accomplish, if they're tasked with looking after finances - is a simple and effective way to ensure employees are switched on in their roles.