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Absenteeism explained: ‘How often do I track my absenteeism data?’

In ‘Absenteeism explained’, our experts answer your most frequently asked questions about absenteeism. In this issue: how often should you track the absenteeism data in your organisation?

In brief

Review your absenteeism data monthly, but use annual figures to prepare in-depth analyses and decide on structural action points. Don’t just draw conclusions from raw data; pay particular attention to long-term trends.

The full statement

The three main figures (absence rate, absence frequency, and percentage of (zero) absentees) are best shared with your management and executives monthly. Delve deeper into the data on a quarterly and annual basis to report in greater detail, for example on developments in a certain region, age category or department.

For in-depth analyses and specific action points, it is best to use annual data most of all. For instance, there is less absenteeism during school holidays, while flu season causes a spike. As such, comparing two periods in the same year is rather pointless and may offer a distorted picture, leading to incorrect conclusions. Always look back a year at a time: it will give you an idea of the rolling absenteeism.

This way, you will also eliminate the seasonal impact and obtain a better and more correct insight into trends. How many employees are jointly responsible for half of your sickness days? Is there a striking upturn in absences during an unexpected period? For example, do you have employees with children whose absence spikes during the school holidays? Such insights, however trivial they may seem, help you to anticipate absences.

Tip: involve your employees too
Communication often has a positive effect on the fight against absenteeism. So share your data with your employees, too. It suffices to share the annual absenteeism figures, in combination with interim communications on specific actions on absenteeism and their results.

From absenteeism data to action

How do you translate the insights from your absenteeism figures into specific, achievable action points? Learn all about it in our course ‘Absenteeism data: interpretation and conversion into actions’.


If you have any other questions about absenteeism,

you may want to check if we already provided an answer for you in a previous ‘Absenteeism explained’. Find the list of all the questions here.

If you cannot find the answer you need: Ask our experts here.