Getting the Tone Right When Talking to Absent Employees


Right Tone When Talking to Absent Employees Online Course

This communication with absent employees online course provides manager with guidance on how to effectively handle sickness absenteeism in the workplace. Anyone in a managerial position needs to have the right soft skills to handle the various situations that they face in the workplace. Like any skills these can be learned and developed through training and practice.

Ensuring your managers understand how to address absent employees in the correct manner will ensure a more positive and productive work environment.

Related Courses

Human Focus offers the following health and safety courses under the sickness absence toolkit:

Why This Course on Managers’ Communication Style is Necessary

Good managers are able to apply different approaches in different situations. The theory of multiple intelligences supports this idea. While raw intelligence (IQ) may help managers identify, analyse, and solve problems, it doesn’t always help them connect with their employees.

Emotional intelligence (EQ) is vital when communicating with others, especially when trying to reach the root of absenteeism. Unlike IQ, EQ is a skill that can be developed in order to become a more generally successful manager, especially when managing sickness absence.

While health-related absenteeism can be unavoidable, some of it may have to do with the feelings and emotions surrounding various relationships between employees at the workplace.

This course helps managers improve their emotional intelligence and develop methods of communication that both handle absenteeism effectively and put employees at ease during discussion of sensitive issues.

Objectives Outcomes of This Online Training

This online training course aims to improve managers’ communication style and tone in a way that strengthens manager-employee relationships in general and in situations of sickness absence in particular.

Course Content

Getting the Tone Right When Talking to Absent Employees

This online course explores the following sections:

  • How Your Style Affects the Message
  • What’s Your Style?
  • Getting the Tone Right – Part 1
  • Getting the Tone Right – Part 2

Who This Communication with Absent Employees Course is for

This health and safety training online is intended for managers working in any sector. Managers dealing directly with absent employees must use the right tone and style when speaking to them.

Learning Outcomes of Getting the Tone Right When Talking to Absent Employees

Participants will be able to:

  • Explain the role of emotional intelligence (EQ) in effective management of sickness absence
  • Explain the importance of managerial communication style for employee retention
  • Apply different communication strategies when speaking to absent employees
  • Explain how inappropriate tone can become an obstacle to sickness absence management
  • Use the right tone when communicating with absent employees about their return to work

Why Choose Human Focus for Getting the Tone Right When Talking to Absent Employees Training?

Choosing Human Focus for this health and safety e-learning course offers the following benefits:

  • RoSPA assured
  • High-quality video content with clear voice-over
  • Supports health and safety compliance
  • Short, informative, and interactive content
  • Mini interactive quizzes to support retention

Course Format

  • 100% online course
  • Approximately 10+ minutes in length
  • End of course knowledge test


RoSPA assured certificated issued by Human Focus to trainees upon completion of training course.

Information Links

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you talk to an employee about absences?

While managers and co-workers can feel irritated when a colleague must be unexpectedly absent, it is important to remain positive and treat all absence as genuine. Failing to do so can drastically damage the relationship with the employee and hamper a manager’s ability to continue to manage the situation.

Managers should be mindful when addressing absenteeism, applying effective communication that leads the conversation with the employee. Employees may be unaware about the cost of their absence to the workplace or project. If a manager can effectively communicate the importance of the employee’s presence to overall productivity, using concrete data, the employee may change their perspective on their own absenteeism.

How do you deal with an AWOL employee?

Managers should use all reasonable avenues of communication to reach the absent employee, including all contact numbers on file and any known relatives or friends. If contact attempts are unsuccessful, managers may mail to the employee a warning for excessive absence letter, a salary deduction for absence letter, or a formal request for explanation of the absenteeism that also includes a clear explanation of company policy and the consequences of avoiding contact.

If an employee has taken only a single day of unauthorised leave, managers are encouraged to discuss the absence with a soft tone and provide the employee the chance to give an explanation. If the employee fails to provide legitimate reason for such an absence, the manager may then pursue appropriate disciplinary action.

What are the qualities of an effective manager at work?

Effective managers create a place where people want to come to work. They motivate employees by helping them understand the purpose and value of their position and assigned tasks. Many studies have shown that creating a supportive and social environment is helpful.

Save lives, build skilled behaviour, implement performance enhancing habits in your workplace