A study by the Society of Human Resources Management shows the various direct and indirect costs associated with unplanned, planned, or extended employee absences, which can range from 20.9 to 22.1 percent of payroll.

An Invitation for Trouble

Many organizations don't have formal, written attendance policies in place; the United States tended to report the lowest percentage of organizations with such policies.  This is an invitation for trouble, because it can lead to inconsistent treatment of employees across an organization, create potential morale problems and raise questions of discriminatory treatment. 

If your organization doesn't have a formal policy, you should create one, tailored to the needs of your organization and your organization’s culture. Ensure that your managers and employees understand it, and that your managers equitably enforce it.

Once you have a policy in place, make use of technology that’s available to accurately track and measure it.  The result?  You’ll be able to pinpoint problem managers, identify employees who may benefit from referral to an employee-assistance program, and identify where you need to consider schedule redesign or provide more training.


Ultimately, better management of employee absenteeism leads to reduced payroll costs, so download this article now to learn how to create and implement a cost-saving absence policy.