Understanding and addressing absenteeism, presenteeism and turnover

27 February 2024

When staff experience reduced mental well-being and health problems, it can significantly impact your organization through several factors. These include increased absenteeism, presenteeism, and turnover, which often occur together. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to address these challenges. Our guide offers 9 practical tips to help you get started on creating a healthier and more supportive work environment for your employees.


Blog - Eerste hulp bij absenteïsme, presenteïsme en verloop

Understanding the issues

Absenteeism: when an employee is absent due to illness. This can cause significant costs, both direct (wages, temporary replacements) and indirect (workload stress on remaining staff, reduced morale, lower productivity).

Presenteeism: an employee comes to work while ill, either physically or mentally. While it might seem dedicated, presenteeism actually decreases productivity, increases the risk of further illness or slower recovery, and can lead to burnout.

Turnover: when employees leave the organization, either voluntarily (resignation) or involuntarily (termination). While some turnover is natural, high rates can be costly and disrupt operations. It can also indicate underlying issues related to employee well-being and engagement.

Blog - 9 tips om absenteïsme, presenteïsme of verloop aan te pakken

9 tips to address absenteeism, presenteeism and turnover

1. Clear absence policy

Establish clear guidelines for reporting illness, dealing with absence, and returning to work. This helps manage expectations and sets a framework for responsible absence practices.

2. Stay connected during absence

Maintaining contact with sick employees shows support and strengthens the employee-organization bond, encouraging a smoother return to work.

3. Support reintegration

For long absences, consider easing employees back into work gradually. This can improve the success of their return, reduce associated costs, and enhance their wellbeing.

4. Raise awareness of presenteeism

Educate employees about the negative impacts of presenteeism on themselves and the organization. Communicate the signs of presenteeism and offer resources and support for employees facing these challenges.

5. Identify the reasons

Use surveys or other methods to understand the underlying causes of presenteeism within your organization. This allows for targeted solutions to address specific issues.

6. Foster an open culture

Encourage open communication about employee wellbeing and remove stigma surrounding illness or taking personal time. Managers should set the example by demonstrating healthy work-life balance.

7. Appreciate and value employees

Create a work environment where employees feel valued, respected, and have opportunities for growth and recognition. This can significantly reduce the desire to seek employment elsewhere.

8. Invest in personal development

Offer opportunities for training, education, and career development. This helps employees set goals and progress within the company, increasing their engagement and loyalty.

9. Competitive compensation

Offering fair wages that are in line with the market is crucial for attracting and retaining talent. Competitive salaries help prevent employees from leaving for better financial opportunities elsewhere.

Want to get a clear picture of employee well-being at your company?

BloomUp offers a well-being scan that provides an objective assessment of your organization's overall well-being. This scan measures, analyzes, and interprets the data, giving you valuable insights into areas that need attention.

With this information, you can identify specific issues and take targeted actions to improve employee well-being, leading to a more productive and positive work environment. Interested in learning more? Read our blog on wellbeing scans to understand how they work and can benefit your organization.