Team Building games and activities for Teams with Excessive Absenteeism Issues

Attendance related issues such as tardiness and absenteeism can really cause a massive loss in productivity and the efficiency of an organization’s workforce. It is understandable that there will be instances that these absences are valid due to unforeseen circumstances or medical emergencies, however, when these absences are becoming more frequent and consistent from any of your team, then it is advised that you step up and provide immediate intervention to address this issue.

Excessive absenteeism from your team might be a sign of a lack of trust from your team members. As a team leader, you need to gain trust from your subordinates to make sure that the plans you have as a team will be properly executed and most of all to ensure that you have a harmonious work relationship with them. Any form of a gap between members and leaders could lead to multiple issues that could greatly impact the goals of the organization.

As a leader, you need to identify the root cause of these absenteeism issues from the team. Verify whether these instances are caused by emergencies or a matter of a will issue of the member. Once the cause is identified, you may then proceed to create a plan to reverse these attitudes and change the tide that favors the productivity of your team. You need to create means to lessen stress from the office. Stress is a very strong driving force that contributes to the chances of increasing the number of absenteeism counts. Finding means to lessen these could also lower the chances of any attendance issues from the team.

Here are some suggested approach and activities you may try to resolve issues regarding absenteeism;

1.    Offer Childcare Vouchers or Facility in the Office

Often, the common reason for attendance issues is related to family matters especially when you have a parent employee. This type of reason is not necessarily tied up to issues in the workplace but instead with the time management and family-related circumstances that could vary from one employee to another. One of these is childcare which can be very costly and intimidating to most parents, that’s why when possible have a childcare facility available in the office. This allows your member to be more flexible when it comes to managing their time without having to compromise their family. If this is not a possible feat in your workplace, you can offer vouchers, and discount certificates instead for childcare so that your members will have something to look forward to when they comply to their work responsibilities and attendances.

2.    Flexible Scheduling

One of the best ways to address attendance related issue like absenteeism is to offer flexible work scheduling to employees. However, this resolution is highly dependent on the type of industry the organization belongs to and this option may only be offered to members that really want to work despite conflicts on their schedules. Helping them meet their attendance target and at the same time ensuring that the team’s productivity will not be compromised will make sure to really address issues about going to work on time.

On the other hand, when an employee is struggling with his or her attendance due to lack of will to go to work or issues related to the workplace environment, this may really be not the best option at all.

3.    Tie up Attendance and Incentives

Incentives will always drive people to comply and go the extra mile to meet their targets. Tying up attendance with incentives would be a great way to address absenteeism especially when you are running a big group of people. Industries such as call centres and remote desk companies are always experiencing a massive issue related to attendance from many of their employees due to their nature of work and night shift lifestyles. These industries have applied a method to address all schedule and attendance concerns at once by incorporating incentives to whoever meets their target. This is also a great alternative for those industries that cannot offer flexible schedules to their team.

4.    Perfect Attendance Rewards

Aside from giving incentives, it is also effective to recognize those outstanding members that perfected their attendance at work. This is one way of showing gratitude and recognition for a job well done. You can conduct the awarding ceremonies in the office in front of the majority to inspire others to do the same and really put a serious effort in making sure they are at work on time. This is also to make sure that these outstanding employees continue to practice these behaviours knowing that the company has their eyes on them and sees their efforts.

5.    The Wheel of Wow

This game was invented by the Director of Customer Experience of MOO named Dan Moross, who believes that giving out on the spot rewards and prizes can boost the motivation of the team to hit their metrics.  The wheel of Wow is a makeshift spinning wheel. You can have the option to create a more personalized one based on the specific behaviors you want to address. The Wheel of Wow may contain rewards and prizes like an extra hour for lunch break, can leave work early, extra paid leave, a free cup of coffee from Starbucks, extra 15-minute break, nap room break, free lunch at the cafeteria and much other smaller stuff. The thrill of getting everyone a chance to spin the will make sure to light the fire of competition. To make this activity effective against attendance related issue, create qualifying criteria before anyone can take the turn to spin it. Criteria should include, perfect attendance of the week, early bird, no tardy count for the whole month, no over breaks and any other criteria you see fit for the team. Make sure to gather everyone and witness the spinning of the wheel to entice them to replicate the same behavior and make them really work on their attendance to qualify.

6.    Conduct Health Related Exercises

One of the factors that contribute to the absenteeism of an employee is health problems. Back pains, neck strains, colds, flu, and many other sicknesses are common on a workplace. Promoting a healthy lifestyle and engaging your team to participate in these activities will lessen the chances that they contract with these diseases. Here are some suggested exercises you can do in the office:

  • Zumba

Zumba is made up of basic to average dance steps that are easy to follow. What’s great about it is that anyone can participate in this activity and it’s quick to organize. You can opt to hire a professional Zumba instructor to make sure that the steps are properly executed. You can conduct these on regular basis like at least once a week or twice a month.

  • Dance Competition

Taking it up another level, you can group your team to 4 or even a pair to have a dance competition activity in the office. This will get everyone on their feet and really move it lessening chances of common back pain issues, poor posture and of course the neck strains.

  • Sports Feast for Ball Games

For a larger number of employees, ball games like basketball, volleyball, soccer, and tennis is a great way to introduce exercise in the workplace. Sports feast may be done in annual basis and get different teams to compete on several sports events.

  • Biggest Loser

There are multiple health complications that are related to excessive weight gain which may promote absence at work. Create an event like “The Biggest Loser” for those who are beyond their recommended BMI’s to participate in this activity and make sure to conduct this event under the supervision of the company doctor.  Whoever loses the most weight wins and takes home the price.

  • Fun Runs

Have a fun run activity for the whole company which is a sure fire to get everybody to participate in an event. Set aside specific prizes to whoever wins the race and give out merchandises like a fun run T-shirt to all participants to motivate everyone to finish the whole race regardless they win or not.

7.    Return-to-work Interviews

It is important to talk to your members about their absence to know the actual cause and what you can do to help them with the situation. This is also a good chance to review with them about the company’s policies regarding absenteeism issue and what are the sanctions they can face if such behavior continues. These interviews may also include an HR personnel if there are already multiple counts of absence despite warnings and prior interviews you’ve had with them.

8.    Employee Engagement Activities

Your team’s absenteeism maybe caused by feeling left out in the workplace thus losing their drive come on time and fulfill their schedules. Creating a harmonious work environment is important since stress can easily build up due to workloads which inspires the feeling of lethargy, loss of interest and lack of enthusiasm which makes the person incur excessive counts of absenteeism. Conducting employee engagement activities like yearend parties, the employee of the month, rewards and recognition programs, the celebration of milestones at work will greatly eliminate the chances of attendance issues caused by unwarranted feelings from work. Communicate with your team to come up with the best activity that works for everyone.

9.    Workforce Management Visit

An employee’s idea about the impact of absenteeism on the organization may not be as deep as leaders see it. A great way to bridge this gap is to get the team to visit the workforce management department. This is usually the department assigned to scheduling and making sure that there is enough headcount to handle the demands of the job. A visit to their hub and getting the chance for employees to wear their shoes should greatly improve their perspective on the consequences of their absenteeism to the organization. This will make them aware of things they know nothing about when it comes to the impact of loss in productivity due to attendance issues.

10. Spend Time with your Team

Best way to understand and prepare for unplanned absenteeism is to really take time and get to know each of your team. Spending time with them outside work hours will give you the idea of possible factors that might prompt them not to go to work. This is also a chance that you can compromise with them for any possible changes that you can do to make sure that they will be able to report to work. Make sure to create a clear boundary between work and off work hours since this could also trigger the possibility that they will take you for granted simply because you became a friend to them rather than a leader at work