HR Glossary for HR Professionals

Glossary of the most common HR terms and acronyms to assist professionals navigating the ever-growing and ever-changing world of HR terminology.

Absence Management

What is Absence Management?

Absence management is an employer’s plan and set of policies that oversee and address employee absenteeism, either legitimate—as in, due to urgency, illness, or injury—or illegitimate.

What is Absenteeism?

Absenteeism occurs when employees consistently miss work, either due to reasons relating to sickness or injury, or possibly even lack of motivation and harassment in the workplace.

Absenteeism can be addressed with a robust absence management plan that improves employee morale, rewards employee attendance, and provides mental health assistance to workers struggling with issues in and out of the workplace.

Why Does an Employer Need Absence Management?

Absenteeism often results in diminished productivity for your team, which can cost your organization real dollars and impact morale around the workplace. 

Employers can utilize absence management tools and practices to establish a proper attendance policy, which helps clarify what is appropriate and what is not in regards to employees missing days of work and arriving late to the office. In addition, generous PTO and vacation policies can help improve recruitment and retention for a team—essentially a win-win for everyone involved.

SHRM suggests the following strategies for managing employee absences: 

  • Taking disciplinary action when an employee is excessively or consistently absent
  • Verifying illnesses after a specified period of absence 
  • Implementing PTO policies that allow employees to take scheduled time off
  • Recognizing workers with stellar attendance records 
  • Encouraging planned vacations for employees to rest and recover

What Other Strategies are Included in Successful Absence Management Plans?

When building an absence management program, consider utilizing the following strategies to assist employees and reduce absenteeism:

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