Employee absenteeism costs billions of dollars annually to workers. Unscheduled absenteeism costs around $3,600 annually for hourly workers and $2,500 per year for salaried employees. These statistics include expenses spent on workers who are not contributing to the bottom line, replacement costs for new recruits and management costs to the HR department as they look for replacements.

It is not ideal to think of absenteeism as a result of lazy employees who want to get out of work as the slightest excuse. There are several underlying causes that could be related more to the workplace than the employees themselves. Let’s discuss the most common ones.

1. Illness

Serious injuries and illnesses make it impossible for employees to attend the workplace. It becomes a real problem when employees fail to notify their employers that they won’t make the shift. This situation can be easily resolved if employees realize that reporting makes things easier.

The onus is on the HR team to create a system that encourages employees to report their status once they become aware of it. This way your HR personnel can start doing damage control efficiently.

2. Bullying

If you have instances of harassment and bullying at the workplace, it will directly tie into absenteeism. The fact that your employees hesitate to tune into work is a sign of more serious problems at work. It is only natural that people would want to create distance between themselves and the environment where they are getting bullied.

The best way to tackle bullying is to promote an atmosphere that encourages employees to report such incidents. It is also a good idea to integrate senior management as part of the work environment to effectively eliminate bullying in the workplace.

3. Decreased Engagement at the Workplace

It is common for employees to not turn up to work because of disengagement. They will try to come up with several excuses to get away from work, but more often than not, their excuses are little more than a façade. Try to find out reasons for low engagement, which could include lack of feedback from employers or lack of flexibility and creative freedom to approach work.

4. High Stress

Stress is a mental issue that can lead to several problems. If not addressed immediately, employees will get sick more often and have poor morale as a result. In the worst of cases, they might just quit without giving any notice. While it is not possible to completely eliminate stress levels in your employees, you can design a helpful system to minimize work-related stress.

You can ask your HR team to identify workers who may be working overtime or showing symptoms of stressful behaviors. This means arranging schedules with employees to try to contain the situation it spirals out of control.

5. Burnout

It is good to have workaholic employees. After all, they contribute to your bottom line in ways that non-workaholic employees don’t. But if they continue to work extra late, you will have to make adjustments before they come crashing down.