Creating a fair employee attendance policy can be a challenge for companies. Veer on the side of strictness and employees rebel and managers ignore it. If the policy is too lenient, employees abuse the system and managers have no recourse. Implementing these key components of an effective employee attendance policy can strike the perfect balance of fair and balanced for your employees and your management team.
Start With the Law
It may be surprising, but many companies embark on creating an employee attendance policy without really understanding their local labor laws. Ensuring that everything is written to meet and exceed all applicable laws is vital. Federal laws such as FMLA and USERRA carry hefty fines if violated, so it's important that when crafting an employee attendance policy you educate yourself on all applicable laws. When in doubt, contact those regulators to ensure your policy meets standards. If your employee attendance policy isn't rooted in law, it's not worth the paper it's written on.
There are few times when crafting employee policies where vagueness is rewarded. An employee attendance policy is definitely not one of those times. In fact, the best attendance policies are those that lay out every eventuality in detail. Commit to paper the expectations, what constitutes on time, and the ramifications for violating the policy. Leave no room for interpretation in the policy so that exceptions and loopholes can be made and create tension in the workplace. Having a clear and concise employee attendance policy helps managers and employees understand the expectations of attendance.
Part of writing a great policy is ensuring that it can be consistently applied across the board. From the board of directors to the hourly employee, attendance should be fairly implemented for everybody. Create a policy that can be easily tracked and maintained by managers and employees. Integrating the attendance policy into a workforce management system can help those in charge monitor employee attendance and alert employees when the policy is being violated. By employing a consistent policy that is easy to enforce, all employees can be on equal footing in complying with the attendance policy.
State Rewards and Consequences
No matter what you're trying to enforce, rewards and consequences are a must. They not only provide employees with a clear understanding of what will happen when the policy is violated, but also rewards those who adhere to it. Build in a positive reward system into the policy such as added time off for consistent timeliness. This added benefit motivates employees. A well-crafted and escalating explanation of the consequences of violating the policy ensure there are no surprises when discipline needs to occur. By writing out the consequences and benefits to adhering to the attendance policy, managers are empowered to better monitor and correct attendance issues.
Getting started on writing an employee attendance policy is a headache. Learning the ins and outs of the legalities of attendance and crafting the perfect policy that strikes the right balance of fairness and strictness can turn this simple task into a behemoth. Implementing these key components can help you craft a policy that keeps employees productive and managers compliant.