Can an employee life cycle or organization productivity dodge the accountability of absenteeism? Companies do have policies that expect their employees to miss some work each year for legitimate reasons. But unwarranted absences or high rate of absenteeism can lead to a decline in productivity and majorly affect company finances, team morale and other organizational factors. Hence, as per Kronos, on an average, 35 per cent of payroll generation programs are now bridged with absence management systems to acquire data of absenteeism to determine and manage organizational health and well-being.

Rate of Absenteeism: Measure Organizational Health

There are many reasons why employees are absent from work may be legitimate or illegitimate. As the account statements determine the economic health of the company, the rate of absenteeism determines organizational health. The absenteeism rate is an index of corporate health and well-being. ‘Zero’ is an ideal rate of absenteeism, but no predefined percentage can determine how much absenteeism is alarming. There some are assured absenteeism in an organization, and a standard absenteeism rate would be 1.5% absence rate which is a healthy rate generally the cause turn out to be the illness.

A timekeeping software record, analyze and utilize absenteeism rate to increase business operations. These resultants can be used for quick decision making, bring about a change in organization policy, compare the rate of absenteeism to the cost of productivity.

Now, companies deploy HR suites with the absence management system that offers benefits such as 

1. The direct and indirect costs of absenteeism.

2. Collect attendance data for the organization.

3. Measure the cost of absenteeism.

4. Calculate rates of absenteeism.

5. Allow customization as per the organization’s particular attendance issues.

6. Legal issues that come into play when designing and implementing absence control strategies.

According to circadian workforce solution, a USA based company, unscheduled absenteeism costs per year is roughly $3,600 for each hourly worker and $2,650 for salaried employees. The direct and indirect cost of absenteeism depend on factors such as

1. Wages paid to absent employees

2. High-cost replacement workers (overtime paid to other employees or contractual workers)

3. Administrative costs of managing absenteeism

An Absence Management systems can manage labour costs in compliance with easy Time & Attendance tools. Advanced capabilities offer Workforce Management with optimized scheduling, set attendance policy for regular or contractual employees, overtime policy, leave case management and more.

Applying regulatory actions following an attendance report with absenteeism shows a significant improvement in both the morale and revenue of the organization. Hence, identifying the reason for the employee’s unscheduled absences can only fix the issues.

Causes of Absenteeism in the Workplace

Do not misinterpret absenteeism as a product of employee laziness or a tendency of the employee to skip work. Enlisted below are few of the reasons that result in absenteeism

Illness or Injuries

Absence, due to illness or injury is inescapable, the problem arises when there is a delayed reporting or ineffective communication to the management until the shift starts. Here a relieving policy can control the anxiety at the workplace.  Recently, the University of Nebraska has promptly updated its policy to address the absenteeism due to COVID-19. There, with supervisor approval, employees now may take up to 160 hours of administrative paid leave in the event of self-quarantine, quarantine or care of an immediate family member.


HR ‘s may not be aware of absenteeism due to some sort of bullying or harassment at the workplace. Any sort of discrimination based on age, disability, gender, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sexual harassment may lead to absenteeism of employee from work. HRs should strategize online documentation and reporting techniques to propel a clear message of the company’s zero-tolerance policy towards discrimination


The engaged employees obey the organization mission and respect management policies. On the contrary, the disengaged employees are not committed, have no regard towards the management and hence often remain absent from work. According to studies at HBR, disengaged workers have 37 per cent higher absenteeism than other factors causing absenteeism. This organization imbalance adversely affects the production cost. The reasons for disengagement might be poor management, poor leadership trait besides lack of constructive feedback, lack of recognition, the uncertainty of career growth, inappropriate pay, an unrealistic workload. Some disengagement issues are simply due to the wrong people in the wrong position.

Low Work Place Morale

Only monotonous work in a stagnant environment leads to low workplace morale. Employees seek motivation and enthusiasm at work. Weak leadership will never encourage feedback and opinions from the employees and will compel them to dwell on the set guidelines. The employee refrains from contributing ideas as they are not valued and gradually lose creativity at work. Low workplace morale leads to heavy absenteeism.

Child or Elder Care Issues

Flexible work schedules can lower the rate of absenteeism at the workplace for the employees who are committed and diligent but fail to give advance notice for their unavailability because they bear the responsibility of fostering elderly parents or a dependent child. The HR’s have to contrivance a system where these employees can easily communicate this to the management. They should verify and make arrangements to allow such employees to work from home or work with flexibility. This measure will ensure a work-life balance and the employee will remain motivated and be more productive as they will be able to focus at work being around their dear ones.


Stress is a mental illness or a state of constant worry that leads to several problems. Employees who suffer extreme stress due to work or personal reason get sick more often and lose morale. Job stress is more strongly associated with health complaints than financial or family problems. 29% of workers felt quite a bit or extremely stressed at work. Such Employees develop disinterest towards work, lack motivation, lack time management and are more likely to remain absent from work. Extremity is when they decide to quit without notice or abscond putting the work at stake. Stress is a few of the top reasons for absenteeism. 

Burnout and Time Theft

Keep track of workaholic employees who continuously work till late hours or extend shifts and make adjustments until they crash. On the other hand, some employees kill productive time at work. Arriving late, leaving early, or taking extended breaks can also cost your business money.  

Hence, reduction in absenteeism, controlling its adverse implications on business and productivity is the only measure that can assure growth. This growth is achievable by implementing automation tools for absence management. These applications keep time tracking of employees, calculate exact work hours and allow management to apply measures and regulate any discrepancy within time.

The absence management software should comply with the following desirable features

1. Employee Documentation and categorization

2. Automatic law updates

3. Biometric Integration

4. Excel Import

5. Manual Attendance

6. Overtime & Shift management

7. Multiple Leave policy management

8. Multiple Salary Structure Management

9. Reporting to creation

10. Pay-slip, email Payslip

11. Salary sheet and other salary reports

12. Monthly and yearly salary MIS reports

13. Full & Final settlement

14. User wise credentials

15. Payroll Compliance

Oracle Fusion Absence Management

Oracle Fusion Absence Management (Absence Management) is a cloud-enabled, cross-platform, rules-based application that enables to manage employee absenteeism on LAN and globally efficiently. It provides the simultaneous implementation of policies and rules consistent with the absence process and administrative framework. Absence Management provides the ability to reduce effects associated with absenteeism such as cost, risks, and productivity. Oracle Fusion Absence Management is a module of the Oracle Human Capital Management (HCM) solution; Absence Management enables to create basic or complex as well as highly differentiated absence plans. It also provides simplified and smart absence transactions for employees, managers, and administrators.

The clientele includes the following

CompanyWebsite CountryEmployee SizeRevenue
University of US Above 10,000Over $1,000,000,000
Houston US Above 10,000Over $1,000,000,000
Quest Diagnosticsquestdiagnostics.comUS Above 10,000Over $1,000,000,000
Securitas SEAbove 10,000Over $1,000,000,000
Mountaire US From 5,000 to 9,999 Over $1,000,000,000

Cornerstone OnDemand and e-days 

e-days collaborated with Cornerstone OnDemand to provide globally compliant,  absence management system. e-days is a multi-session, multilingual GUI based and cross-platform application that can operate to give the customers’ absence management alongside all the benefits of core HR. The software allows customers to have appropriate configurations across all countries and offices, based on the legislative and contractual absence and leave schemes for employees in each region. Advanced e-days customers use e-days also to support employee health and well-being initiatives.

The clientele includes the following

CompanyWebsite CountryEmployee SizeRevenue
University of California.americares.orgUS 50-200>1000M
Houston Methodisttravelleadersgroup.comUS 1000-5000200M-1000M
Quest Diagnosticsstrategicfinancialsolutions.netUS 50-20010M-50M
Securitas USAtaprootfoundation.orgSE50-2001M-10M
Mountaire Farmspentair.comUKAbove 10000>1000M

This application includes the cost of paying absent employees as well as indirect damages such as lost productivity and the hiring of replacement workers besides absenteeism record. Kronos absence management software prompts the administration as to where costs are accruing, empowering management to curb expensive absence trends that are impacting the bottom line. This application enables a reduction in the administrative burden. It allows informed decisions for drafting absence policies, reduce cost and track all absence and leave incidents.

The clientele includes the following

CompanyWebsite CountryEmployee SizeRevenue
Signature HealthCARE, LLCltcrevolution.comUS >10000>1000M
Blue Diamond Growers, Inc.bluediamond.comUS 1000-5000200M-1000M
The WFC Groupthewfcgroup.comUS 50-2001M-10M
Northwest Community Healthcare Corp.nch.orgUS1000-5000200M-1000M


A well-defined company policy synced in absence management system generates reports and returns that help in deriving inferences concerning the rate of absenteeism and pattern of absenteeism. The modification in organizational policies concerning the automated analysis could strengthen the employee morale, lessen insecurity of loss of job and encourage transparency.  

The stakeholders can periodically document the rate of absenteeism and monitor the health of the organization, well being of employee and its effect on finance and productivity. Hr and Hr policies aim to ensure that employee absenteeism doesn’t cost business, time and money. It becomes imperative to identify the cause of absenteeism, apply measures and fix them by introducing tools and upgrade policies in place to create a healthier workplace and happier workers.

Uzma Abdulla is an Editorial & Content Coordinator for The Media Bulletin. Experienced with a demonstrated history of working in the marketing space. Skilled in strong program and project management. Master of Arts (M.A.) in Archaeology and Pursuing Post Graduate Diploma in Counselling. She likes to be on her toes when it comes to facilitating events and collaborating with people.

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