Unfortunately, absenteeism is an all too common problem in production and warehouse jobs. While some employees are loyal and committed to these positions, others see them as a stepping stone on their way to another career. Especially now, as society reopens following the pandemic, workers know they have options. But that doesn’t leave you helpless. Here are some tips for combating absenteeism in your production or warehouse roles.
Recognize What You Can Control…and What You Can’t
You can’t control the labor market or what other companies are doing. But you can control your own rules, policies, and working conditions. And history teaches us that employees who feel valued are more likely to show up.
Update your health and safety plan to accommodate lingering COVID-19 concerns. Raise pay. Offer additional paid time off (PTO). Organize an employee softball league. Add a cafeteria. Cater lunch once a month. It doesn’t really matter exactly which steps you take, as long as you take concrete action to help your employees feel safe and taken care of.
Offer Perks to Contractors
If you’re like many employers, you may be reluctant to rehire too many full-time staff members until some of the uncertainty fades. And you might be relying on contractors and temporary workers to fill the gaps. Combating absenteeism can start with extending your employee perks to include them. Otherwise, you risk setting up an “us vs. them” mentality among your staff that can damage the work environment for both contractors and full-time employees.
Boost Training and Accountability for All
Now is a great time to revisit your training and accountability standards, and make sure you’re applying them evenly to both full-time and temporary employees. Make sure that you’re offering dedicated training time, rather than simply throwing people in to figure it out. Ensure that training covers everything that people truly need to know, without wasting time on things that aren’t relevant for them. Develop a learning culture and hold periodic orientation or training programs on exciting and new topics such as production and warehouse automation.
Then hold everyone accountable for doing what they were trained to do. Provide clear, constructive feedback, and open the lines of communication so that workers can give you feedback as well. These tips can help reduce absenteeism and increase employee retention.
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