Employee Engagement: The Million Euro Solution to Absenteeism

Every business caters for possible losses. Try as hard as we may, absenteeism can never be fully removed from the equation. Whenever anyone is absent, it might be due to a sickness or personal issue beyond control. For such, companies always have a budget and expect it. However, it becomes problematic when a team or employee develop chronic absenteeism. Alongside with injuries and burnout, or low morale, employee disengagement is a serious form of chronic absenteeism.


The Million Euro Example

According to a recent Dutch study, an absent employee costs 230 euro a day. On average in the Netherlands, an employee is absent for 7 working days a year. That’s roughly 1.610 euro per employee per year. According to a recent Gallup Poll, organizations with highly engaged employees have 37% lower absenteeism. This means that if we take into account an organization with more than 5.000 employees, this organization could safe up to 3.000.000 euro on absenteeism alone (year-on-year).

Doing Away with Absenteeism in the Workplace

Unfortunately, there are no tools or formulas to differentiate between employees who are absent for a valid reason and those who are taking advantage. Thus, the best you can do for your company and a team as a leader is to best understand the workspace and how better to improve.

Activities that engage employees and increase morale are one-way of dealing with the issue head-on. Another way of dealing with absenteeism might be to promote active and healthier life styles for employees. However, every organization has a different setup, and there is no one-size-fits-all type of solution.

Solution: No one-size-fits-all type of solution

We argue that it is worth looking into a bottom-up approach where employees are empowered to present and act on ideas concerning the issues at hand. By collaboratively working towards a better workplace, employees can provide crucial feedback about what works well and what can be improved to reach a higher level of engagement: Unleashing the collective genius.

Whatever the feedback may be, eventually it will become a company culture to promote wellness and full application to work. By tracking the engagement level of each team, the impact of each significant event becomes clear and the organization as a whole can react timely to business outcomes, such as, voluntary turnover, productivity and absenteeism. In the end, highly engaged employees ARE the solution.

Written by: Aleksander Tchernov .