Some attendance issues are unavoidable. Accidents on the roads, illnesses, and more can creep up on employees unexpectedly and force them to arrive late or take a sick day. However, the amount of false sick days employees take is on the rise. From 2016 to 2017, the number of employees calling in sick when they weren’t rose from 35% to 40%. When an employee has persistent attendance issues, it can tank office morale as well as productivity.
The following are several effective strategies for reigning in attendance problems:
- Lead by example. Management can’t expect their employees to arrive on time and work a full day if they don’t do so themselves. Employees will take note of their boss’ work ethic and be more likely to reciprocate punctuality.
- Address attendance problems without delay. Employers can address attendance issues with employees in several ways. It could be as simple as an informal conversation to see if there is an extenuating circumstance affecting the employee’s schedule, or the employer can opt to address it during a review. Whatever route the employer decides to take, he or she should do so quickly. Allowing an employee to arrive late for an extended period can send the signal that management is ok with the tardiness or isn’t paying enough attention.
- Give employees the opportunity to make up lost time. Some attendance policies require disciplinary action when employees have attendance issues. However, employers can avoid this by offering make up time. Many employees will take advantage of the opportunity to make up the time they missed in order to avoid lost pay.
- Reward good performance. Employees who feel valued are more inclined to arrive on time for their job. Offering recognition prizes for perfect attendance can reduce tardiness and absences, especially if there is a highly sought after reward such as paid time off, a monetary bonus, etc.
- Require employees to call out through management. If an employee can call out of work by leaving a voicemail with a receptionist, it’s a lot easier for them to make up an excuse than if they have to talk to their boss directly. If an employee is sick, they won’t have qualms discussing it with their supervisor.
- Follow up when an employee returns to work. If an employee calls out sick, it’s a good policy to check in with them when they return to make sure they’re ready to be back at work. If an employee tries to return to work while still ill, he or she can spread germs or relapse. It’s also good for morale for management to show they care about their employees’ health.
- Keep track of attendance. This may seem like common sense, but many businesses operate on an honor code, assuming people will document if they’re late. This may be true for significant tardiness, but an employee who arrives five minutes late every day isn’t likely to bring it to their supervisor’s attention. Keeping track of late arrivals, early departures, and absences let employers notice patterns and address them.
Absence management is a must for any company to succeed. If your company is struggling with tardiness or suspects problems with absenteeism, Actec can help. Contact us to learn about our absent management solutions.