Avoiding the adverse risks of absence: Part three – Reputational

By Tom Whiley | Absence | 3 min read

Absence can cost your business in many ways. 

We’ve already explored the operational and financial risks of absence. 

In the final part of our series on the risks of absence, we’ll discuss the reputational costs of a poor absence management policy. 

Your reputation precedes you

We’ve all seen companies named and shamed on social media for their poor working practices. Many customers actively boycott “problematic” companies.  

According to Career Arc, 96% of companies believe employer brand and reputation can positively or negatively impact revenue. Despite this, only 44% monitor that impact. 

Beyond this, 84% of job seekers consider a company’s reputation when applying for jobs. 55% of job seekers abandon applications after reading negative reviews online. According to Harvard Business Review, a negative reputation costs companies at least 10% more per hire. 

The link between reputation and absence

So a poor reputation can affect your bottom line while making recruitment a nightmare. But what’s this got to do with absence?  

It all comes down to the strong links between absence, employee experienceemployee engagement, and your company culture 

If your company culture is one in which absence is frowned upon, then employees will be less likely to take regular breaks. They’ll also be more likely to continue to work when they’re too ill or exhausted to do so. This is called presenteeism, and if you don’t address it, employee burnout is basically inevitable. 

Unhappy employees will bring your business crashing down

An unhealthy attitude towards absence in the workplace cultivates an environment of distrust and resentment. People will stop giving as much to their roles. They’ll be less engaged in their work, and less open when communicating with management and colleagues. They’ll also be less likely to recommend your business to others. 

If large swathes of your workforce are checked out, your productivity will suffer. So will your staff turnover. Employees facing burnout are 2.6 times as likely to be seeking a new role. Consequently, burnout is responsible for 20-50% of employee churn. 

Happy employees will make your business thrive

Happy employees take their planned leave when they need it, and they have lower levels of unplanned absence. They show higher job satisfaction rates and are less susceptible to stress.  

Engaged employees show up every day with passion, purpose, presence, and energy. And crucially, 89% of workers at companies that support wellbeing initiatives are more likely to recommend their company as a good place to work. 

It all starts with intelligent absence management. High absence rates lead to disengagement. But at the same time, low absence levels are linked with presenteeism and burnout. 

So how can you find the balance? With an intelligent absence management system. Global construction firm Wirtgen Group uses the Edays system to champion employee wellbeing through identifying disruptive absence patterns, offering a helping hand to whoever needs it before any problems arise.

wirtgen testimonial

What’s your absence risk profile?

Depending on how you manage absence, your business fits into one of three absence risk profiles – hazardsufferer, or trailblazer. 

A trailblazing attitude to absence management help creates a healthier company culture, with engaged employees dedicated to doing their best every day. 

Head here to get your free absence risk profile report, and discover the relationship between good absence management and a strong business reputation. 

absence risk profile