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How to Calculate Employee Absenteeism

Employee absenteeism is a common problem in most organizations. Although most employers wish their employees could turn up for work every day, it is impractical.

However, high absenteeism rates may affect your business operations. Finding out the actual absenteeism rate in your workplace will help you develop effective remedies to the problem.

Read on to understand why employees skip work and how to calculate the employee absenteeism rate.

What is Employee Absenteeism Rate?

Employee absenteeism rate refers to the proportion of workdays to absences within a particular period, including a month, quarter, or year. Employees usually miss work due to several reasons. Here are examples of reasons why a worker may miss work.

Injury and Illness

Injury and Illness are common reasons employees may fail to show up for work. When your employee is injured or falls sick, you need to encourage them to stay at home until they recover fully. This way, they will get better quickly and return to work. Additionally, your employees may need time to go to the hospital for checkups. Regular health checkups may force your employees to occasionally take several hours or an entire day off work.

Workplace Burnout

Workplace burnout is a serious issue, and it is among the leading causes of poor performance. This problem is particularly common when you subject your workers to demanding and unplanned working schedules.

To avoid this issue, you need to give your workers some time off work to rest and rejuvenate. Otherwise, your workers will get tired eventually, and their interest will reduce, prompting them to miss work.

Workplace Bullying and Harassment

Nobody feels comfortable working in an unfriendly environment. Therefore, if you bully your workers verbally or physically, they may get affected and disengage from work. As a result, they may prefer to stay at home instead of coming to work.

Job Hunting

In some instances, your employees may start seeking other job opportunities while still working for you. Such cases are common when your employees feel dissatisfied with their job, or their morale reduces. If your employee lands a job interview, they may miss work to attend.

Why Employee Absenteeism Rate Matters

Calculating the employee absenteeism rate is essential in assisting corporate executives in eliminating the absenteeism problem. Employers can analyze the situation and determine whether they need to make some changes in the organization or not. Here are ways you can use your employee absenteeism rate results.

Change Your business policies

If you notice that your workers miss work regularly, there must be a problem in your business. Therefore, you need to analyze your business policies and determine if they favor your employees or not. First, look at the amount of time off you offer your employees. If the time is not enough, consider increasing it. Also, consider introducing a work-from-home policy to reduce the total number of sick leaves, especially if the nature of your business can allow them to work remotely.

Decision Making

Employee absenteeism rate can help you make important decisions. You can choose to increase your compensation rate so your workers do not take advantage of your undervaluation of their labor. Increasing their compensation rate also helps to reduce the time they spend looking for other job opportunities. Additionally, you can talk to the employees whose absenteeism rate is high and ask them to change their behavior. If they fail to, you can lay them off.

Hire Additional Staff

Heavy workload is one of the reasons why many employees miss work. Therefore, you should consider hiring more workers or part-time employees to help with the workload and fill vacant positions.

How to Calculate Employee Absenteeism Rate and Best Practices

You can easily calculate the employee absenteeism rate by following the steps below.

Find Out the Number of Unexcused Absences

Should you seek to calculate the absenteeism rate in your business, start by monitoring employee attendance. To make the process easier, you can use the clock-in and clock-out system to monitor employee attendance in a month, quarter, or year. This way, you will easily know the total number of employees who showed up for work and those who did not.

Alternatively, you can ask for an employee attendance record from the HR department. When looking at these records, find out how many employees did not show up for work without a legitimate excuse.

Select a Time Frame

After finding out the total number of people who missed work without a valid reason, you need to select a time frame that you will use in your calculation, such as the annual absenteeism rate. You should choose a time frame depending on the needs of your business.

The most common time frames include:

  • Week

  • Month

  • Quarter

  • Year

For example, if you find out that an employee missed work for nearly a week, you may track their absence during that period of time.

Calculate The Absenteeism Rate

Once you know the total number of unexcused absences and choose the time frame, you can insert the figures in the formula to calculate the absenteeism rate.

Employee absenteeism rate =

(sum of your working staff × sum cases of unexcused absenteeism)/(sum of your working staff × overall sum of workdays)

Track Absenteeism

Knowing your business absenteeism rate in a particular period of time is essential since it will help you make important decisions to help your business grow. However, tracking the average number of employees who miss work without valid reasons can be difficult. If you are looking for a tool to help you track employee attendance, contact us today.


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