Dear Sir, I am working with pharmaceutical industries and I want to know the all procedure to reduce the absenteesm in all level. With Regards, (S.K. Singh)
From India, Delhi
Dear SK Singh,

Let me remind you famous quote of Peter Drucker - "without measurement there is no management". Therefore, if you wish to manage absenteeism, first conduct the study of the workers' absenteeism on the following points:

a) Absenteeism with respect to the departments and designations

b) Absenteeism with respect to the age group

c) Absenteeism with respect to the gender

d) Absenteeism with respect to the various seasons of the year

e) Absenteeism with respect to the production of the certain products or requirement to work on particular machines

f) Absenteeism with respect to education qualifications

g) Absenteeism with respect to the specific time period of the month (i.e. after getting salary)

Absenteeism is a malaise due which most of the manufacturing companies are afflicted with. The other causes of absenteeism are:

h) Company not having brand image

i) Remuneration not as per market standards

j) Long working hours

k) Management treats employees as their slaves

l) Job and person mismatch

m) Lack of career consciousness

n) Lack of promotional avenues. People are working in same designation for the years together

n) Company does not show any interest in developing personality of their staffs. They have a fear that if these workers become educated then they will smart under their feet.

o) Management is unable to calculate hidden losses caused due to the employees' absence. They just deduct the employee's wages and think that they are recovering losses because of the absence.

p) Tremendous competition in the job market. Getting skilled workers is difficult. Therefore, workers try getting job somewhere else. If the things do not work out then they come back.

q) Poor or unsafe or unhygienic work practices. They develop health problems by working in this company.

r) No employee welfare activities to speak of

You need to do one more thing is to calculate losses that company incurs because of lost or delayed orders, quality issues arising out of frequent turnover of the employees. Show to the management these losses are far higher compared with the cost improvement in work practices.


Dinesh V Divekar

From India, Bangalore
Dear Singh,

Mr Dinesh has given a detailed advice and a food to the thought.

Basically, absenteeism is caused due to indifference of the workmen with the management for reasons elaborated by Mr Dinesh.

I feel that a beginning in this regard should be made with the management team. Since they have been dealing with the workmen day in and day out , they must be having relevant input as to the cause of absenteeism . If so, it is better to take that also into account while proceeding further as under.

In the instant case, as a short term measure you have to monitor absenteeism at the level where it concerns most and be ready with the facts and figures. If you have union(s) in your organisation you have to take them along either by way of collective bargaining and negotiate the issue with them by linking it with the productivity. If there is no union in that case you have to hold workshops with the representatives of the workmen concerned explaining that absenteeism causes abundant avoidable damage to both the parties and that it is incumbent upon the workmen to contribute favourably in this regard. May be that during this process workmen may raise some of the salient issues affecting their interest in the organisation which your management has to promise to look into seriously and remedy in due course of time.

I am sure this can make a positive beginning. In order to lead the process you can also take the help of a management consultant after holding a detailed pre-discussion with regard to the problem and the nature of help and guidance you look forward from him.

I am sure this can make a good beginning.

Wishing you all the best.


From India, Delhi
Dear Mr. Singh, in this connection

I would like to add the following

on the based on my personal experience. i.e.

1) If it is a unionised organisation, at the time of

wage or any other negotion, it

should be made it clear in writing that union should not interefear while taking disciplenery action mainly on unauthorised absence that is absenting without any intimation habitually. Here also two or three warning letters should be issued to such employee to correct himself. If the emoloyee does not respond, then action to suspend the employee for two or three days to be taken (ofcourse it is better to do with the knowlwdge of the union to avoid unnecessary unrest).

2) If there is no union, Management can issue a Notice/Circular to the workers

intimating the actions proposed to be taken by the Managent.

It is also necessary to make it very clear to the Union/workers that unauthorised absence of the worker will effect the production or execution of the day to day work thereby not only management will be at loss but the workers also. Counciling is also very much essential to reduce the absentism and improvement in the production/execution.

Hope this will help to some extent.

Eswararao Ivaturi.

From United States, Cupertino

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