Mitrefinch logo

How to Manage Unplanned Absenteeism on a Short Notice

Published: March 7, 2017

If only things worked out the way we plan, the word would be a utopia, with no hassle, inconvenience, and setbacks. Unfortunately, things have a way of surprising (or astonishing) us in the most unexpected ways, whether it is anything about our personal or professional life.

In a utopian organization, no employee would ever demand leaves or call in for a planned or unplanned absence. Even in the case of a need, they would inform the management weeks before the time. However, in the world where we live, absenteeism, and particularly the unplanned absenteeism is the biggest nightmare for management and the organization.

Imagine you have an urgent project queued up for the next day. You have scheduled all the essential tasks involved and have assigned them to your team. You are sure that there is no way you won’t be able to complete the project in time. The very next morning, you reach the workplace, clock yourself in, and open your mailbox to check updates. And there is this email, from an important team member, calling in sick and requesting a leave. Can you decline the request? Certainly, not! But, how would you make up for the absence of the employee? This is the thing you need to worry about.

Unplanned absences are inevitable. However, they can definitely be overcome by incorporating some smart strategies in your management designs.

Maintain a Job/Task Description Handy

Being a manager, it is your responsibility to have a clear and concise knowledge about your employees’ jobs, as well as the tasks or operation you are supposed to supervise. The descriptions about an employee’s role as well the tasks are to be maintained in a written or digital format. This will ensure that even in the case of an urgent an unplanned absence of an employee, there won’t be any hassle or disruption in the process.

Automate Roster Management

Smart and automated systems such as a workforce management system is an efficient way to manage multiple shifts, and task allocation and scheduling function. A workforce management system not only helps in the efficient allocation of tasks, it also tracks the status, progress, and performance and generates notifications and alerts in real-time.

Review Your Leaves and Time Off Policy

Most companies classify the annual vacations and casual and sick leaves under separate heads. These leaves are paid and do not cast a slash in the employees’ monthly wage. In the case the employees have already consumed their annual leaves, they might utilize their annual or sick leaves, even if there is no need or emergency. Therefore, to avoid such practices, you need to review and revise your time-off policy.


It is essential to standardize the essential and regular tasks happening within your organization. Devise a proper system and train and educate your employees on the best practices and standard methods of consuming their leaves. This will not exactly eliminate absenteeism from the root. However, it will reduce it to a bare minimum.

Don't waste time

Empower your teams with integrated Time and Attendance and HR solutions