A certain level of unscheduled absence is normal for the maintenance of a healthy workforce and for supporting family friendly practices and work/life balance.
Manager behaviour can influence employee behaviour, in particular the roles they play in supporting employee productivity. These include managers helping employees to keep their work in perspective, that is, in balancing work and home life.
Organisational culture can be described as the way things are done around here. It is what employees perceive or experience to be accepted or rewarded.
Adversarial workplaces, indicated by low supervisor and health and safety support, job insecurity, ambiguity and boredom, contribute to unscheduled absence.
Work pressure, harassment and bullying increase the likelihood of psychological injury and workers compensation claims.
A high proportion of psychological injury and associated workers compensation claims are preventable by improving morale, leadership and team climate.
Manager’s prevention checklist
maintain an approachable and supportive style
invest time in getting to know employees
be open to alternative ways of working
effectively manage staff workloads
respect your employees by ensuring a workplace that is fair, flexible, safe and rewarding.
ensure employees have necessary equipment to do their job and attend to any required workplace modifications and/or health and safety concerns promptly
involve your team in workplace matters and decisions
support healthy team dynamics
keep track of absences and leave approved
acknowledge staff (privately) who demonstrate commitment to minimise absence and attend work whenever fit and able
encourage the regular use of annual leave or other planned leave
attend to employee safety by ensuring ill or injured employees are not compelled to be at work.
send positive messages that convey the importance of attendance and employee welfare
frame your discussions on leave policies as employee benefits rather than as entitlements.
streamline workflow and avoid duplication
monitor work demands and review priorities so they remain realistic.
provide employees with opportunities to use their skills and task preferences
consider the individual’s work values, career goals and development needs
enrich jobs with meaningful work, variety, control of whole tasks and appropriate delegation of responsibility for decision-making.
ensure job advertisements properly reflect the workplace and the job
discuss attendance expectations with potential recruits
consider the individual’s ‘fit’ with the APS Values, as well as their capability and experience, in line with the merit principle.
Induction and probation
use the induction process to establish effective working relationships and clarify attendance expectations
use the probation period to observe attendance patterns and to identify and address concerns early.
provide regular feedback
focus on development to build employee confidence to perform
regularly acknowledge good performance, successes and achievements.
recognise the strong relationship between attendance and a positive and rewarding work environment
cultivate a culture and management style that makes your workplace safe, engaging and fulfilling for all.