Absences due to sickness are going to occur in any business, no matter its size or prestige. It’s a fact of life that we humans get ill, quite often. Most people will fall ill a couple of times a year, so that could equal days if not weeks where they can’t work properly.
There are other types of absence too, like employees who are on business trips or trade meetings. Some employees may be on paternity/maternity leave, and others may be on holiday. Whatever the scenario, it’s important for you to manage the situation effectively.
But how can you do so? Fortunately, you’re in the right place. The following post will list the top ten ways you can effectively manage your business when your staff is missing. Best get to work!
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Outsource the extra work
Your staff is not at work, and that means you have some extra work to complete. Do you leave it until they get back, and let them do it themselves? Not! Nobody wants to return to work to find a pile of paperwork stacked on their desk. Instead, outsource this task to a company that can get you the right person for the job. That way, the work will get done, and your employee(s) can return to work in a stress-free fashion.
Offer to let absent employees work from home
If your staff member is off work, but not ill, then offer them the chance to work from home. Paternity and maternity leave pay isn’t great, so if they can still work entirely for you, they’ll be in a much better situation. Children can be quite expensive after all!
This way, your business will continue to operate as it normally does, and all work that needs doing will be done. Of course, if they refuse, or only want to work in a reduced capacity, that’s their call. Respect that they have earned this time and find another answer.
Professional absence management
Managing a business when you have missing staff is about coping with the staff you do have, and looking after the ones who are off. It can be hard to juggle both balls at once, but you aren’t alone in the fight.
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You could invest in a variety of absence management solutions for employers to try and reduce absence rates. While you should be trying to manage your current situation, it’s important to plan ahead and try and reduce any major absences in future. This all starts with assessing the current situation and identifying how best to allocate your resources.
Design a flexible work schedule
Perhaps your employees are being forced into taking time off because of their work schedule. So, while they’re away, assess the reasons why. Is it you? Is it the way your business operates? Consider implementing a more flexible schedule to reduce the time your staff has off.
You could let them work weekends or evenings. You could let them work from home, or cancel their lunch break in return for an early finish. Don’t just sit back and watch your business suffer. While the staff is away, be actively seeking ways to cure this potentially consistent problem. This is especially useful for small businesses, as they need to make the most of a small workforce.
Push back deadlines
Sometimes, you will have no other option than to push back those deadlines until your staff returns to work. The benefits of this are that the work will get done by the people who are best at it – your employees – so you’ll retain quality. Of course, if the deadline must be hit, then you need to seek another option, but if it’s flexible, then consider removing it altogether.
Call in temporary contract workers
There is no shortage of freelancers, contractors or part-time employees in the world, so there’ll be one to suit you. Recruiting freelancers has many benefits, including a single fee and no ongoing commitments. The work that needs doing will be done, and you’ll pay them, and that’ll be the end of it. You’ll also foster a flexible relationship, and if you’re struggling in future, you’ll have someone to call.
Offer to pay your working staff overtime for completing extra work
Everybody likes money. The fact of the matter is, no matter how much you love your job, you are doing it for the money and making a living. If you have absent staff and work that needs doing, you may have to ask other employees to finish it. This can disrupt their job/life balance, and ruin productivity.
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However, if you offer to compensate them thoroughly for it, they’ll be more inclined to help you out. You’re going to have to spend money to get the work done anyway, so why not keep it in-house?
Appoint a sub-manager to help you organize things
You won’t be able to manage this situation alone, so enlist some help. Choosing a sub-manager can be hard as you want to avoid favoritism. This person will help you organize a workload and delegate staff so that you can focus on the running of the business.
Communicate consistently with the absent employees
If they aren’t at work, you should still keep in touch with them. This way, you have an idea of when they’ll return to work, and they’ll feel more valued. Your employees should be your friends as this fosters a productive working environment. Showing them that you care is the friendliest gesture of all.
Don’t let the stress get to you
You are your staff’s leader. They will look to you for support and help when things are getting a little harsh, or difficult. So, if you’re finding the situation arduous, try not to let it show. If your employees see you buckle, they may lose that sense of productivity. It can be tough to cope when you have a lot of staff off work, but you’ll make it more difficult if you stress.
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