HR Wigwam
Reducing Absenteeism By Return to Work Interviewing

About the course

This course provides the skills with which to carry out the return-to-work interview, a proven way to reduce absenteeism. 

It ensures sure that your supervisors and managers are competent and confident to carry out the interviews promptly and professionally. 


At the end of this training course, participants will be able to:-

  • Understand the importance and necessity to the business of managing absenteeism

  • Know how to prepare for a return to work or absence interview

  • Be clear about objectives and desired outcomes

  • Be constructive in their approach, fair and firm

  • Be able to question and discuss absenteeism competently

  • Recognise and offer support to those who need it

  • Feel more comfortable and confident when interviewing

  • Know how to gain commitment from the employee

 Course content


  • The course and your personal and business objectives

  • Costs of absence to the business

  • Effects of absence on the team

  • Typical reasons for absenteeism

  • The types and patterns of absence

  • Why R.T.W.I.’s need careful handling

  • Reasons why R.T.W.I.’s succeed and fail

Demo interview 

  • Identify good and bad points

  • Discussion and checklist for good practice

 The importance of keeping records 

  • Using your records – checking for vital information, gaps, omissions, points to probe

Structure of the interview 

  • The steps to move through for a fair and effective interview

  • Including the absence review panel interview where appropriate

Questioning and listening skills 

  • Types and purpose of different questions

  • Planning important questions in advance

  • Hearing vs Listening

  • Clues and leaders

  • Silences and pausing

  • How we listen

 The interview

  • Ways of opening the interview

  • Control during the interview

  • Closing the interview                                            

Making decisions and taking further steps

  • Individual review plans

  • Handling persistent absentees

  • Supporting genuine cases and when to use your HR function

‘Try it out session’

  • Using various realistic absenteeism scenarios.

Review of learning points and good practice 



Call 01604 883541 for an informal discussion



HR Wigwam is a member of The Wigwam Company © 2004
Other services provided by the Wigwam Company include exhibition training (Manning the Stand) and sales training (Sales Wigwam)