It’s 6am. You get the phone call; another one of your teachers has called out for the day. Your internal sub has already been scheduled to cover a class. Ah ha, you’ve got it! You’ll move around some coverages and have some of your teachers use their prep periods to ﬁll in as the day goes on. It’s 6:25am. Another phone call…
The Cost of Teacher Absenteeism in Numbers
According to research compiled by the U.S. Department of Labor in 2015, approximately 3% of a given company’s staﬀ is absent each day. And as The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported, these absences cost employers approx. $1,685 a year PER EMPLOYEE; with K – 12th Teachers representing one of the occupations with the highest costs associated with absenteeism (as reported by The Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index).
When a Teacher is absent from work, the ﬁnancial cost to the school is great but cannot always be directly measured in numbers. Some additional consequential costs are:
• Reduced productivity and work quality due to understaﬃng
• Lowered employee morale
• Management frustration
• Additional employee workload
• Reduced Student Productivity
What Schools Can Do
1. Establish a Clear Call-out Policy and Strategy – i.e. Have a deadline for same-day callouts (Ours is 5am). As part of the process, the teacher who called out must also look to secure your own substitute for the day.
2. Schedule Substitutes in Advance – There are key periods and dates throughout the year where attendance issues become pervasive. Schedule substitutes in advance to cover those inevitable Friday before a holiday, Monday after Mother’s Day, and “I’ll use all my PTO in May” absences.
3. Invest in a Long-Term In-House Substitute – Schedule a substitute to be at your school each day and ready to work. If you don’t need the sub, you can cancel up 4 hours ahead of their start time on a given day. We’ve set-up a 24-hour phone service for that convenience.
The Big Picture
Those 6am call outs don’t have to be such a drain on you and your staﬀ’s day. You don’t have to continuously arrange and rearrange the day’s schedule all while trying to get to work yourself. A solid call out policy and advance planning can play a crucial role in creating a smooth operating work environment and keeping instruction interrupted, resulting in increased productivity and higher morale for your staﬀ and students.
(According to a study by CareerBuilder).
• The most popular day of the week to call in sick is Monday followed by Friday.
• Employees most often call in sick during the month of December, followed by July and January.
• More than a third of employers have caught an employee lying about being sick by checking social media.