Canada suffers a higher absenteeism rate than both the U.S. and the U.K.
According to data from Mercer and SimplyHealth:
- Canadian organizations had an absenteeism rate of 6.6 days per year
- U.S. organizations had an absenteeism rate of 5.3 days per year (in mid-2008),
- U.K. organizations had an absenteeism rate of “less than five days per year” (in early 2009).
- Only 40% of respondents indicated that they track absenteeism rates
- The direct cost of absenteeism averaged 2.6% of payroll in these organizations in 2008.
- Education and health (8.9 days) and government (7.9 days) reported the highest absenteeism rates.
The first step in controlling absenteeism is to measure rates and direct costs across the board. Many organizations focus on their LTD programs over their sick leave or STD programs, yet an average of 9% of full-time employees were on STD in 2008, according to the survey.
A Conference Board Of Canada Report outlines steps that organizations can take to better manage their programs:
- identify the root causes of absenteeism;
- take proactive steps to improve the health and well-being of employees;
- have a return-to-work program in place;
- focus on communication and education;
- get involved early when employees are absent; and
- keep in constant contact with employees on leave.
Absenteeism is sometimes seen as the cost of doing business. But it is a symptom of much deeper issues that must be addressed. What are the causes and how can you go about addressing them? Does entitlement play a role? Is it a healthy environment or an unhealthy place to work? The more you look into this issue and focus on reducing the behind-the-scenes stuff through a comprehensive workplace wellness plan, the more productive your teams will be and the more successful your organization can be.
What is your absenteeism rate and is it in-line with your industry’s average?
Leave us your comments!
If you have some strategies to share – comment on this posting!