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Three Impacts of Absence on Employee Engagement

Keeping employees engaged is a task that plagues many HR professionals, and for good reason. First, it’s tough to measure. And second, it’s tough to improve.

At Optis, we feel the number one way that employees are disengaged is by being absent. Those who are on an extended leave or are chronically out of the office (for non-work reasons) are typically not examples of engaged employees due to major life changes or ongoing ailments.

But, it doesn’t stop there. Employee absence affects engagement beyond the employee who is recovering, vacationing, on sabbatical, or abusing the system. How? We’re here to tell you:

1. Non-absent Employees are Overloaded To cover the work of absent employees, those who are still in the office are now doing more than one job. Whether their taking over a role that doesn’t interest them, doing a task that they don’t fully understand or just have too much work to get done each day, your employee who’s clocking in every morning may becoming less and less excited to be there.

2. Employee Morale Shrinks We believe this is especially true when dealing with intermittent leaves of absence. When one employee is chronically missing work and looking to coworkers to takeover tasks, cover shifts, or help with their workload, it wears people down. A lot of resentment can build up and exhausted employees might become unhappy with a company who’s seemingly catering to someone ‘who’s never there.’

3. Recently Returned Employees are Unhappy In many scenarios, employees go out on leave and return to work with restrictions or difficulties doing their old jobs. Even in a modified work environment, an employee who once thrived might find their new role monotonous and unfulfilling.

So, what can be done about all of these issues? Employees will continue to go out on leave but we don’t want to just accept the fate of disengagement, do we?

No, we don’t. We suggest that before organizations spend a lot of time measuring and money on improving engagement problems, that they first get good handle on their absence management with a cloud-based absence management system.

With cloud-hosted absence management software, HR can properly track and manage leaves to return employees to work sooner - easing the burden on non-absent employees as quickly as possible. Intermittent leaves can be exhausted in a timely manner – when tracked correctly. And RTW programs can be managed closely to be sure accommodations are provided and the satisfactions of the newly returned employee are met.

And the best part, you can test it all out for free. You can try Optis’ own absence management software, LeaveXpert for 30-days right now. Let’s get those employees back to work and keep engagement up!