Fed Up With Absenteeism!

Is absenteeism a problem you find difficult to handle?


On average, six out of ten employers don’t believe employees’ excuses when they ring in sick. One in three managers will check social media sites to see if the employee has posted any updates.

Figures show that in more than a fifth of the sick days taken, staff admitted they could have made it into work. Weather seems to play a huge part in sickness levels rising – whether it’s cold or hot, the absence excuses begin! Employers are clearly suspicious about unauthorised days taken off; perhaps not surprising given the varied excuses presented for absence…

Here are just a few of the more unique reasons given by employees for time off:

  • A can of baked beans landed on my big toe
  • My dog has had a big fright and I don’t want to leave him
  • I’ve injured myself during sex
  • I slipped on a coin
  • My mum has died (this was the second time the person used this excuse)
  • I am hallucinating
  • I am stuck in my house because the door’s broken
  • My new girlfriend bit me in a delicate place
  • I burned my hand on the toaster
  • The dog ate my shoes
  • My fish is sick
  • I swallowed white spirit
  • My toe is trapped in the bath tap
  • I’m in A&E as I got a clothes peg stuck on my tongue
  • I drank too much and fell asleep on someone’s floor – I don’t know where I am
  • My trousers split on the way to work
  • I’m using a new contact lens solution and my eyes are watering
  • I have a blocked nose
  • I’ve had a hair dye disaster
  • I’ve got a sore finger

The above excuses may be funny, but high levels of absence can have a huge negative impact on business – both from a financial perspective and operational perspective. It reduces the effectiveness of teamwork, reduces employee output, lowers morale, damages the company reputation and may result in lost business. It can also have a major negative impact on the employees who have to pick up the extra workload. How many times have you had the issue of kitchen staff ringing in sick and not being able to get a replacement? Or waiting staff ringing in sick leaving other members of staff trying to cover their area?

So what can be done to reduce absenteeism?

It’s important to start with the basics and implement a good absence management procedure, which will uncover the causes of absence and allow the employer to make necessary adjustments. The absence management procedure should include:

  • Return to work interviews – this process makes it harder for employees to take time off without a proper reason and allows employers to understand if there are any genuine problems. Remember – it’s harder to lie to someone’s face than it is to lie over the phone!
  • Bradford Factor procedure – this process allows employers to allocate “points” for absences. If an employee reaches a certain amount of points, they can be taken through the disciplinary procedure.
  • Open communication – this is vital so both the employee and employer can talk honestly to each other. It’s much better to discuss potential issues at an early stage, rather than waiting until it spirals out of control.

The goal of a good absence management procedure is to reduce unauthorised and non-genuine absence to zero, whilst at the same time not penalising employees who have genuine absences.

Worryingly, many employers do not know how much absenteeism costs them. How much would your bottom line increase if absenteeism was not a problem?

Written by Liz Strama, HR Protected/  Endorsed by Stuart Baddiley, The Restaurant Inspectors.

HR Protected are a specialist HR company who work with clients to develop and implement strong and efficient HR systems. They have developed a cost-effective, easy to use Restaurant Sector Pack that contains all the main HR documents required to build a strong HR foundation and comply with current employment law. For further information, please visit their website www.hrprotected.co.uk

To tweet or not to tweet, that is the question!

Social media has taken over the world and no more so than in the hospitality world!

If you’re not on Social media in your business then we highly encourage that you get moving (it’s not going away).  The Restaurant Inspectors are experts in customer loyalty and use Social media everyday to help spread the word and let you know all about us.  For the first time you have a FREE tool to endorse your brand and showcase to the world the greatness that is you!

This image from Mr Web Studio sums up the diverse range of people on twitter!

The Restaurant Inspectors encourages their clients to future proof their businesses by evaluating their target market and adapting their marketing requirements. It’s highly important not to bypass customers who won’t be using social media by using the usual ‘outbound marketing’ methods such as direct mail. But as the younger generation come through you should be switching your marketing to ‘inbound marketing’ such as social media & blogging.

With that in mind why not take a look at The Restaurant Inspectors Top FIVE Twitter Tips:-

1. ENGAGEMENT is what its all about

You need to talk to your followers, isn’t that the point of Twitter?  Treat it like an open forum, go and chat to anyone and everyone (you may just be surprised on the results).  We set the same challenge to one of our clients recently, they are now bringing lots of business through quick respond rates and engaging with their potential customers.

2. Listen to your audience and RESPOND

Read what your timeline is saying and where possible RESPOND, if your reading and not responding you’re treating Twitter like a newspaper.  Thousands of people are out there reading so why wouldn’t you want them reading your words of wisdom!


3. Build LIST’S to keep a very close eye on your customers

As your followers increase you’re going to start to struggle to read all the tweets, top advice is to move the people who you don’t want to miss to a list (that way your in control of what your reading and you’re less likely to miss any important tweets)

4. Why having FOLLOWERS is important

Two very clear reasons for having followers.  Firstly – these are your marketing audience, the more that follow the better chance your message being heard and responded to.  Secondly – perception – potential customers are more likely to take you seriously if they see others are following, its human nature to follow the crowd.

5. TIMING is everything

We have lost count the amount of people who write great content but then send it at the completely wrong time.  Every industry is different but for Hospitality we are aiming at the ‘average worker’ who works 9 – 5 (monday to friday) It’s a safe assumption to say this person will look at their feed between 7.30 – 8 (breakfast), 12pm (lunch) 3pm (afternoon break) 6pm (when they come home from work) and 8.45 – 10pm (browsing whilst relaxing for bed).  Therefore send your messages in these windows to make sure your message isn’t wasted.

We have only just scratched the surface, if you want some top tips and great advice call us today 01332 418428