What causes employee absenteeism?

Why is my employee absenteeism rate?

Absenteeism at work can cause serious costs for your business, so you want to keep a close eye on absenteeism and make sure it doesn’t develop into a major issue. If you recently measured your employee absenteeism rate, maybe you came to the conclusion that it was higher than average and that absenteeism was a serious problem in your company. If that is the case, then you should try to analyse the exact reasons for absenteeism at your workplace. Indeed, the causes for employee absenteeism can be many and vary from a business to another. To help you identify what causes absenteeism among your employees, we have compiled the most common causes of absenteeism at work.

What are the major causes of absenteeism at work?


Harassment can be a very serious cause of employee absenteeism. If a worker is bullied or harassed, then they might not turn up for work in order to avoid this situation. If there are cases of harassment within your company, you should treat these incidents will all the serious that they require and swiftly put an end to the bullying. Besides, you should take steps to make sure that such a situation doesn’t reoccur.

Stress and burnout

If your staff’ workload is too heavy, this will result in stressed, overworked employees. At first, this will cause a drop in productivity. Indeed, one works faster and better when relaxed and well-rested. But as the situation worsens, more and more of your workers will develop a burnout. And even if they are not completely burnt out, your employees might just prefer not coming to work rather than facing this much stress. To solve this problem, you should hire the right number of workers to ensure that you are not understaffed.

Mental health problems

Mental health problems other than burnout can burden your employees. This is why it is good practice to implement an employee wellness program, where the employer offers the resources needed to overcome, or at least better manage, whatever mental health issues the employees might have.

Why does employee absenteeism increase?


Employee engagement is an important factor for the long-term success of an organisation. Engaged employees are more motivated and productive. They will turn up for work because they genuinely care about the company’s future. However, when employees are disengaged, they tend to work the bare minimum at best, and at worst do not bother showing up at all. One of the most efficient ways to build employee engagement is to listen to your staff’s needs and wishes and try to accommodate them, within reason of course.

Childcare and eldercare

Employees who have to care for children or elder relatives might find themselves forced to miss work because they have to tend to their charges unexpectedly. There isn’t much you can do about that. But make sure to be informed of your employees’ situation so that you can be prepared and not taken by surprise.

Job searching

A last common cause of absenteeism is when an employee is looking for another position. They might then miss work in order to meet a recruiter or get to a job interview.

Now that you have a better idea of what causes absenteeism among your employees, you might want to read these tips to reduce absenteeism in the workplace.

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