Absenteeism in the Netherlands continues to increase. The rate of absenteeism in 2016 was 3.5%; in the second quarter of 2019 it was 4.3%. Large companies in particular are seeing a hike in rates. The most common reason for long-term absenteeism (more than 42 days) is mental health issues, of which 25 per cent is stress-related. ArboNed (the occupational health & safety service for SMEs) based these figures on an analysis of its data up to July 2019.
Absenteeism remains a thorny problem for organisations. If an employee is sick, that's unpleasant for everybody, not just for the employee. Colleagues have an extra workload to deal with, and the employer has to cover extra costs and meet the numerous legal obligations (Wet Verbetering Poortwachter). There are numerous ways to reduce absenteeism, but surely the real question is this: how do you prevent absenteeism?
Start at the beginning
At Habilis Wellbeing at Work, we can certainly help you reduce absenteeism (in other words, unplanned absences). However, if we’re being honest, we'd much rather start at the beginning. That means spotting and utilising talent, making people mentally, physically and emotionally fit for the job, and exposing and reversing pain points in your organisation. Stress and related complaints may be the rule rather than the exception nowadays, but enough companies have proved that it doesn’t have to be that way if vitality is your key word.
Look at yourself objectively
To prevent absenteeism in the future, an organisation must first take a good look at itself in the mirror. Are your processes as streamlined as you think? Is overtime incidental or routine? Do you have 'the best person for the job' in every role? Are older employees still feeling good about themselves? How can things be managed better, quicker and nicer?
Our absenteeism experts walk the shop floor with you and help identify and cure your blind spots. They show you where the bottlenecks are and what the solutions are. They explain how you can encourage your employees to grow and excel so you can reduce absenteeism and—better still—prevent it all together. All that, of course, is done with the utmost consideration for privacy and the General Data Protection Regulation (AVG). And with methods and instruments that you manage yourself. Which is a pleasant way to work.