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Use these tips to reduce unscheduled absenteeism

Issue: Your company has been experiencing a high rate of unscheduled absenteeism lately. What programs or policies can you implement to cut down on this costly trend?

Answer: The issue of unscheduled absenteeism is a common concern, with 34 percent of employees calling in sick at the last minute.

With traditional "sick time" programs clearly out of sync with the times, the survey found that employers are increasingly offering programs to help employees manage in a more planned way the issues that take them away from work.

Work-life programs. Faced with the challenge of creating programs that recognize that employees are often absent from work for reasons other than a stuffy nose, employers are turning to work-life programs.

The survey found that organizations now offer an average of nine work-life programs, down from eleven in 2006. Those rated most effective at reducing unscheduled absences include:

Absence control programs. Employers are reporting they use an average of five such programs, down from six in 2006. Disciplinary action remains the single most-used absence control program, with 89 percent of surveyed organizations using it. The other leading absence control programs in use are:

For More Information

The 17th annual CCH Unscheduled Absence Survey is the only survey that provides American business with a clear look at the rate of unscheduled absences, as well as the financial impact of no-shows on companies nationwide. The 2007 survey covers why employees are missing work at the last-minute, what it means to the bottom line for employers, and what programs and policies companies are using to address the problem. The survey also includes profiles of best practices and innovative programs employers are offering to help their employees and their companies effectively manage this problem.