Employee absences can prove pretty costly for employers, so how do small business owners make sure their employees aren't taking too much time off?

A large number of human resources professionals, 75 percent, indicated that employee absences are a significant detriment to productivity and profit, according to a study compiled by Kronos and the Society for Human Resource Management. With sick days so costly for small businesses, it would be wise for owners to find ways to prevent illnesses from decimating their staffs. You don't have to be a medical professional to promote health at your office. For more on how to reduce absences and the costs they can create for your business, read the four tips below:

1. Keep track of employee absences
One way to reduce absences among your team, and subsequently mitigate the costs they impose on your business, is to keep track of the days individuals miss work, Entrepreneur suggested. Few employers actually monitor how often their employees are absent, which provides an opportunity to take advantage of a few unearned sick days. This is a mistake though, because tracking absences can help employers identify the cost of absences while ensuring that no one goes over their allotted number of sick days. 

2. Tout the benefits of prevention
While you can't stick your employees with the flu shot yourself, you can educate them on how to prevent illness, Intuit explained. For example, there are a number of signs that you can acquire from the Centers for Disease Control that you can hang around your office to promote prevention and good hygiene. Reminding employees to do things as simple as washing hands is an easy first step to promoting illness prevention in the workplace. Also offer your employees some time off so that they, and their families, can get vaccinations. Reminders about things such as hand-washing and vaccinations will likely cut the number of sick days your employees take. 

3. Offer employees the chance to work from home
Allowing your employees to work from home will ensure that they aren't spreading germs or suffering within the office, while remaining at least somewhat productive through the day, according to Generation Y, a blog about working life for young professionals. While you may come across a few people who try to overuse the privilege, for the most part the benefits of letting your employees work from home will far outweigh the costs. 

4. Provide a range of weapons against germs
Keeping tools for fighting germs around the office will go a long way in preventing illness from spreading throughout your office, Intuit noted. Hand sanitizer, soap, tissues, water filters and well-placed garbage containers will all help you keep germs away from the workplace. Additionally, if you sometimes leave out snacks for your staff to pick on throughout the day, try to stick to foods that are individually wrapped. Besides individually wrapped treats, it would also be a good idea to provide foods that will help your team fight illness, such as fruits and vegetables, tea, honey or even multivitamins. 

Absent employees can be costly for small businesses, and the unexpected costs that sick days bring are definitely not something that owners look forward to. That's why as a manager it is important to do everything you can to make sure that your employees remain as healthy as possible throughout the year. Use the advice above to accomplish that goa, and consult an expert if you are looking for financial tips on how to afford new workplace health initiatives.