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Basic Literature is a corporate satire blog, updated with satirical and humorous commentary on the corporate world, including career advice, management tips, business strategies and marketing tactics.
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How To Reduce Employees Absenteeism

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Employees skip the day at the office for various reasons. The problem is, some of those reasons are valid and legal. We can blame the employee union for that, but of course you need a lot of cash and a link with a Sicilian family to make them shut-up (or disappear).


Your employees can call in sick. Or cite family reasons. Even worse, they just tried to call it a day and you fell for it- thus voluntarily giving them the day off. Or you’re just one of those incompetent managers that managed to land the job because you’re somebody’s nephew, and you don’t command any respect. Your people took turns to go AWOL. Whatever it is, the problem of absenteeism must be stopped.

You can give your employees incentives to come in and work.

But no. To pay people to do the job they’re paid for in the first place is much worse than bribing. Furthermore your company is a cheapskate- which explains why they’re so demoralized to come in, so what makes you think you can get the budget allocation?

So try these approaches instead:


Send all employees to boot-camp

This is no ordinary training or seminars. Provide ‘motivational’ slideshows about the economic crisis and how companies are laying people off. How inventions and innovations are mushrooming all over the place, how automations will lessen the need for human workforce.

How consultants (me!) can unearth (non-existence) efficiency problem in companies and suggest retrenchment to improve the bottom-line. How vulnerable employees are, compared to companies. It will forever alter their perspective- they’ll shift into survival mode and embrace presenteeism.


Scrap the monthly wage system

And introduce a strict, pay-by-the-hour system. Even nature-calls will be deducted from their salary. So they can’t blame you for salary deduction. If they’re not paid, it’s because they didn’t work. Fair isn’t it? You’ll experience a slight spike in your OPEX, but with more people in doing their work, you’ll get the return sooner than you expect.


Hire a full-time doctor

This is a classic solution taken to a new height. Don’t use panel doctors and clinics, instead, hire an in-house doctor, make him/her the ONLY doctor that can award sick leave for your company.  Then, deduct the doctor’s salary according to the number of sick leave  given to your employees.


Introduce shift rotation

You may well heard about this one. But it’s a bit different. All people will work during the regular hours, but introduce a night-shift specially for absent employees. Whatever their reason is, absenters will have to replace their day off with a compulsory graveyard-shift.

The later the shift starts, the better it will improve their determination to make it to the office. You can also hire a homeless to spook the office during the night shift- an excellent reminder to keep your employees away from being absent.

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well, I would add one more - never buy your staff medical insurance that covers out patient visits and consultations. all you achieve is paying on behalf of the staff for the sick leave certificates for those serious health problems that always tend to occur on Fridays or Mondays or both :-)

I love no.2 & 3. As a staff in HR Department, I cay say that, your approach much n much effective even it sounds CRUEL but for me - paying someone who DON'T want to work - that is more cruel.

very nice post and i wish every boss will do this

Good ideas.Hope my boss reads this :)

Very useful information... I'll send it to my boss ;)

maybe you will become an employee...:))

"The later the shift starts, the better it will improve their determination to make it to the office"

Your suggestions are clever! Pretty funny too.

Totally agreed with all of it. Especially 2 and 3 are gems

Oh man, why I not think this useful ideas before.

hi zedd... u're still creative as usual, with lots of ideas :)

mulanya diya tak paham, nape nak hire doktor lak. apa kaitan dgn ponteng2 neh. huhu. rupanya, tkt nnt pekerja saket lah. kira sng, rawat kat pejabat terus eh :D

p/s-i've still read ur blog, through google reader :)

it would be quite annoying if your paycheck was cut if you had to use the bathroom.
On the other hand the company would probably save some money on toiletpaper in addition to the pay-cuts..:)

all the tips are cool. thank you so much.

The only place where people actually do what they are supposed to are in companies that have a "pay by achievement" system. If they aren't working there, they will never work and they don't know what is best for them.

Absenteeism really is an ongoing problem. Some people are just not motivated enough to go to work, and even if they do, they are less productive than their first 3 months at work. As a manager, it can be quite a challenge managing people who are like this. Anyhow, thanks much for the tips. As always, they perked my day up. :-)

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