In the logistics industry, the occasional worker absence here or there is not really that big of a deal, but it can quickly spiral into a huge issue that holds your company back from true efficiency. With that in mind, you will likely need to be far more proactive about your efforts to nip growing absenteeism in the bud, and install an ongoing strategy that will help you identify risks before they arise and cause more serious problems.
The following tips should help you do just that going forward, and continually set yourself up to keep absenteeism to a minimum so that your warehouse always has a strong attendance record:
1) Understand why persistent absenteeism may occasionally arise
You may go weeks or months without facing a serious attendance issue and that is, of course, a good thing — but even a few relatively small issues here and there can come together to create a problem, according to Resourcing Edge. If you keep detailed records of when attendance issues arise and why, you may be able to identify patterns that allow you to cut some of these root causes off at the pass. While some attendance problems crop up for unforeseeable reasons (such as if a worker's child gets sick and needs extra care for a few straight days), most will happen for more systemic reasons.
2) Increase scheduling flexibility
One of the biggest causes of attendance issues comes in the form of scheduling policies that don't take your workers' needs into account, Resourcing Edge advised. When you schedule workers for specific shifts and demand that they be there on time with absolutely no wiggle room for things like traffic, taking kids to school or anything else, that's going to increase your absentee rate. On the other hand, if you give workers flexibility to make up time missed or otherwise allow for some negotiation here, that can improve your situation.
3) Reward and recognize good attendance rates
This is a classic scenario where the carrot will likely be more effective than the stick — so it's a good idea to set up generous perks for employees or teams that exemplify the strong attendance records you're looking for, according to The Balance Careers. This shouldn't be a situation where someone gets a single extra day off if they go a year without using a sick day, but rather something more generous that will encourage people to not miss a day of work unless they truly need it. Rewarding even a single month of perfect attendance in some small way can be highly beneficial.
4) Follow up after absences
Finally, it's a good idea to make sure that when an employee is out for even one day, you check on the reason behind the absence, according to Turnbull Hill. That way, you are maintaining strong records of these issues and can potentially spot patterns — even if they crop up across an entire team rather than being persistent for a single worker. This, in turn, can inform future attendance policy changes that lead to falling rates of absenteeism.