HR Tips for Managing Absent Employees

As a member of the human resources department of any company, you are tasked with dealing with employees. Even so, the experiences are not always on a negative note. Some companies like to recognize staff members who are excelling at their role or producing positive outcomes at high rates. More often, though, your department deals with employee inefficiencies and absences. When an employee is out sick often, here are three things to consider.

Managing Workflow

First and foremost, when an employee is out sick often, you are going to be tasked with helping manage that person's workload. A manager may team up with you to figure out if this is an outlier situation or if it is becoming a pattern. The manager may want to know if the sickness is something simple like a cold everyone is catching or if it is a chronic condition. With your help, they can prepare. Those preparations could lead to on-boarding temporary help, distributing the work among current employees or hiring a replacement.

Getting a Gift

As you are trying to figure out why your employee is sick, you are encouraged to take a 'what if the shoe was on the other foot?' approach. While it is easy to believe the worst, the situation could be valid, especially if they’ve been ill for a while. You can purchase a gift, for example. You should choose a unique gift, and find something that shows you care because it is important to show the personality of the company. A card that wishes the recipient a speedy recovery is nice; the rest of the team members can sign it and it is a small action the rest of the employees will notice and take note of because no one really knows when something like this could happen to them.

Making a Decision

Until you know why an employee is out sick often, all you can do is gather your intel. Since there are laws that protect employees, you do have to handle the situation with care. Eventually, a decision needs to be made. Most likely, a replacement will have to be hired so the workflow keeps moving and the rest of the team does not feel burdened. If the team is close-knit, morale can be maintained by not moving too swiftly and showing you are taking into consideration their workloads, too.

Handling the sickness of an employee can be handled delicately while maintaining morale. Do your best to manage the sick employee's workload, consider getting the absent employee a gift if you find they are hitting a rough patch, and make a decision about how to handle their situation.

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