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Cultural Chemistry, Small Business, HR, Human resources, NH, Manchester“They always start out perfect, 10 minutes before they are supposed to start they are ready to go. After a few months, you get the first call, they are “running late” than the second call, “their car broke down” and you know, you are back to running around to get everything rearranged.”

Absenteeism is one of the most unrecognized cost factors in relation to labor cost. In fact absenteeism can consume as much as 15% of an organization’s payroll.  But what about the absenteeism that you don’t monetarily pay for; when your hourly worker calls in and doesn’t get paid. The indirect cost involved with unplanned absenteeism can triple that percentage. When talking about indirect costs, we think about paying overtime, hiring temporary help, and loss in productivity and synergy (a two person team gets more work done than two single persons).

As the example states, most employees when they start working with a company make an impressive effort to show up on time. So technically they show their ability to work, but how do you manage time off as a manager, without being seen as too strict? When it relates to hourly workers, not paying for hours not worked, is still not effective enough to credit the issue as serious. They still call in, even when paid personal time is being used. And when you have too strict a policy, how do you manage the employee that have real family problems and needs time off to take care of themselves or their family? You can think of the endless circumstances that small business owners face when developing this plan.

When excess unplanned absenteeism is an issue at a company, there are a mix of different factors that need to be solved at the same time. This is why it is so difficult for a business owner to solve it on their own, because they always seem to only have the time to solve only one step. Here’s where we come in.

Cultural Chemistry’s Absenteeism Reduction Program ™ focuses on four areas: engagement, employee support, manager support, leave policies. We support the business owner and manager to implement the right tools to reduce absenteeism and improve productivity.


The first action is to understand why employees are absent. Is it because there is no engagement with the company, or is it because of personal reasons or is it a combination of both.  We teach the business owner how to improve engagement, communicate organizational objectives and values. It’s important to emphasize that improving engagement is not a one time fix, but when worked on deliberately it can be crucial for improving absenteeism.

Employee support

When personal issues causes an employee to be absent, often times the employee needs support to learn how to deal with circumstances in life. A Cultural Chemistry social worker or case worker supports the employee in learning the necessary social skills to be successful in life, in turn reducing absenteeism due to social difficulties. Employees who have received support dealing with social issues are employees for life. The employee personally experienced the care of the organization.

Manager support

As a manager or business owner it is really easy to try the problems for the employee, or come up with solutions why an employee is not on time. Our training is focused on providing skills to the manager on how to communicate effectively with employees who are prone to show up late, or not at all. Many managers find it hard to discuss absenteeism issues with their employees, with our guidance they learn techniques to take out the personal relation that is hurting the discussion.

Leave policies and programs

Small business owners always would like to provide a generous leave policy, but often times when policies are in place they are not aligned to the companies values. Cultural Chemistry works together with business owners to align the leave policies to the companies culture and applicable regulations. When those policies are in place, a follow through system that is easy to manage is implemented so that employees who need leave can take it, but the employees who just not able to commit to their working hours are being let go in a responsible way.

The investment made by our clients to implement  Cultural Chemistry’s Absenteeism Reduction Program  are earned back within 3 months.