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4 Effective Strategies for Reducing Employee Absenteeism


Enable Group | Nov 16, 2023

For Employers ● 3 min read

As the population in Singapore is expected to grow greyer in 2030, employee absenteeism is likewise projected to exacerbate and even result in productivity loss that could cost the country around S$3.3 billion. This underscores the critical impact absenteeism can have on a business, extending beyond financial implications. It can result in delayed project deliveries, decreased work quality, and a decline in team engagement and morale.

In light of these challenges, it is imperative for companies to actively seek ways to mitigate absenteeism in the workplace. According to several HR firms in Singapore, excessive employee absenteeism often indicates problems within the workforce or the organisational culture. Hence, formulating solutions to the problem of absenteeism should start in these areas. In this article, we share some of the most effective strategies businesses may adopt to reduce their rate of employee absenteeism.

1. Reward Employees with Good Attendance

To promote consistent attendance in the workplace, a highly effective approach is introducing a rewards program for employees who maintain excellent attendance records. This initiative serves as an added motivator, encouraging employees to prioritise punctuality and regular attendance.

Nevertheless, companies should be considerate in implementing a reward system and always keep in mind that there can be perfectly valid reasons for being absent, such as illnesses. Thus, the reward scheme should not be a way to penalise employees with excused absences. 

2. Establish Disciplinary Procedures and Consequences 

Besides setting up a reward system, companies should also establish disciplinary procedures and consequences that will discourage employees from missing work without valid reasons. To do so, a company may either put in place trigger mechanisms to evaluate attendance using a time and attendance system, or perform capability or disciplinary procedures for absences. The choice between these options will depend on a company’s workforce and operation.

Trigger mechanisms to initiate evaluations may include excessive doctor’s notes. This should alert office managers that they must already step in and explain company policies to the erring employee. If necessary, they should also outline actions that they will have to take if the problem persists. If absenteeism continues despite the evaluations, then disciplinary action may occur. For habitual offenders, dismissal may also prove appropriate.

3. Use Robust HR Management Tools

Sometimes, chronic employee absenteeism could be a result of poor practices in the HR department. For instance, when salary payments are consistently delayed, it can act as a catalyst for absenteeism, resulting in decreased employee productivity. 

To mitigate these issues, businesses must prioritise the efficiency of their HR processes. One practical solution is to invest in robust HR management tools like payroll HRMS software. These tools not only streamline HR operations but also empower managers to provide employees with data-driven performance evaluations.

4. Enhance Employee and Workplace Well-Being

Frequently, chronic absenteeism can be attributed to an unhealthy and stress-ridden work environment. Numerous research studies have consistently demonstrated that high-stress working conditions are closely linked to increased tardiness, absenteeism, and employees contemplating leaving their jobs. As such, to reduce the rate of employee absenteeism, businesses should look for ways to lessen stress in the workplace by implementing programmes or taking appropriate measures to combat harassment, among others. 

A positive and healthy work environment tends to foster content and engaged employees. When a company prioritises its workforce’s physical and mental well-being, it’s more likely to cultivate a highly productive team. This emphasis on overall well-being translates to fewer sick days and fewer instances of employees missing work. Consequently, it’s paramount for every business to place its employees’ physical and mental health at the forefront of its priorities.


Employee absenteeism presents a significant challenge for businesses, as it can lead to substantial financial and operational disruptions. Therefore, it is crucial for every company to maintain a low absenteeism rate by implementing effective strategies.

If you are looking to outsource HR services that will help reduce the rate of employee absenteeism in your company, Enable Consulting is here to assist you! We are an established HR outsourcing firm in Singapore that offers a wide array of excellent services, ranging from payroll management and talent acquisition to HR advisory and consultancy. Through our services, we can help you manage your workforce better. What is more, we will be giving away a free one-month fee waiver to those who will avail of our offers.

To learn more about how our trusted services can help improve your business, please do not hesitate to contact us anytime. Our team of HR specialists is always ready to assist you!

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