How to Handle Employee Attendance Issues


Managers that understand the bottom line costs of partial shift absences and loafing on the job know that it's important to curb those abuses, but may not know exactly how to handle employee attendance issues. With the proper equipment and organizational empowerment, employers can ensure that employee attendance problems are handled swiftly and fairly. 


Make it Automated

Clocking in and out using an automated time system may be second nature but when a company is facing employee attendance issues, automated systems can provide a whole lot more support. Employees can clock in and out for meals and breaks to give managers a more complete look at where employees are abusing the attendance policy. Companies can program their automated time systems to adjust for lunches and breaks without requiring managers to go back in to adjust times for payroll. Automated time systems take the onus off of managers who don't want to seem overly strict with their employees and places it squarely on the employees to curb their own employee attendance problems. 


Empower Managers

Managers may recognize that there is a culture of lax timekeeping in an organization but don't feel properly empowered to address it. Without a clear set of rules for attendance, managers are left to gauge when to reprimand employees over a late lunch and when to let it go. Managers are also often left in an awkward position of deciding whether to punish their own employees when other managers would ignore the issue. 

Managers should be empowered to address employee attendance problems through a straightforward and inclusive set of policies. Employers that implement strict attendance policies that lay out the risks of clocking in late regularly or leaving early and what the ramifications of those decisions are helps managers by giving them a clear guideline of how to address employee attendance issues. A comprehensive policy gives no room for lax managers or perceived favoritism, just clear cut rules. 


Counsel Early

No one wants to be blindsided on the job. While employees may realize they're consistently late, if it's been ignored for months, suddenly punishing that employee is overly harsh and probably not effective. Managers should counsel early about employee attendance issues. Often, there are underlying issues that can be addressed in a constructive and positive way. If an employee is regularly fifteen minutes late because they drop their kids off at school, it may be more effective to change their start time rather than continue to set them up for failure. Working with employees who have attendance issues can yield positive results for the organization and the employee. 


Offer Employee Rewards

Attendance shouldn't be all punishment and reprimands. In fact, a reward system for proper attendance can be just as effective as a strict attendance policy. Rewards in the form of days off, free meals, and bonuses can help improve morale. Employees who regularly are at their workstation at their assigned time should be rewarded for their punctuality and be set as a role model to other employees. When developing a straightforward attendance policy, include a set of rewards to improve morale and reward conscientious employees. 

Employee attendance requires more than just a cursory statement during employee orientation. To properly address employee attendance, organizations need to support their management team with a clear policy including risks and rewards in conjunction with an automated time keeping system to keep employees honest. Managers, for their part, need to address attendance early and work with employees to find effective solutions. Through a cohesive policy and clear message, employers can prevent the serious losses associated with employee attendance issues.


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