How to handle an employee’s attendance problems

Maybe you’re the kind of business leader who prefers to create a work culture free from the corporate grind of time clocks, rules and rigid schedules. Or perhaps you don’t want to be that person at your company, the one who knows exactly what time everyone gets into the office.

Yet absenteeism, without a compelling reason for it, may adversely impact your business. So, let’s take a closer look at poor employee attendance.

Why you can’t ignore employee absenteeism

While it’s true that few business leaders relish calling out employees for being tardy or missing work, the reality is that excessive absenteeism can’t be ignored. And here’s why:

Your other employees can’t ignore it

They’re stuck picking up the slack for the missing staff member, helping with tasks they normally might not have to do. And that’s stressful for employees, especially those who are already stretched to the max.

Your company’s reputation is at stake

When employees aren’t doing their part, the entire team may fall behind on meeting deadlines. In some cases, that could mean losing a valuable contract or earning your company a reputation for not delivering a product or service on time.

Absenteeism affects morale

Over time, the situation can breed resentment and disengagement among employees and bitterness toward you, their employer. Your employees may wonder why they work so hard, when one particular employee suffers no repercussions for his absenteeism. Or escalating bitterness could provoke an argument between problem employees and their co-workers.

Simply put, absenteeism is a big deal for business leaders. And when you consider lost productivity, morale and temporary labor costs, the price of absenteeism grows even more substantial.

The challenge of addressing poor employee attendance

If absenteeism is so problematic, why is it so hard to address? Often, business leaders just don’t grasp the enormity of the issue. They don’t see how excessive absenteeism affects other employees and their business until it’s too late. Or they bring up the issue of absenteeism with offending employees – and take their word that they won’t miss work again.

The result? When there’s a lack of serious consequences for absenteeism, employees won’t take it seriously.

7 steps to curbing poor employee attendance

You need a clear and consistent approach to effectively curb absenteeism. Try these 7 steps:

  1. Put it in writing. An employee handbook is a great way to spell out your policy on absenteeism, as well as the reporting process employees should follow if they’re late or absent. State the consequences of excessive absenteeism — including the potential for termination. Even better? Share this policy when onboarding new staff, so everyone knows your expectations from the outset. (You may also want to consider having new employees sign a statement acknowledging they’ve received a copy of the policy.)
  1. Gather information. Before you broach the subject of absenteeism with individual employees, prepare yourself with examples and the dates and times they were late or absent. With data in hand, you may feel more confident in addressing the problem – and they can’t deny it.
  1. Tell them you’ve noticed. It’s OK to casually address the issue when it happens. Here’s a sample script: “Hey, listen. I know you showed up late a couple of times. It’s important that you get to work on time, and that you come in the days you are scheduled. If you can’t, it is even more important to follow our process concerning absenteeism. Here’s a copy you can keep for reference.”
  1. Show your concern. Once you’ve made clear that you’ve noticed, follow up with something like, “When we don’t hear from you like we’ve defined in our policy, we get concerned that something may have happened to you. That’s why it is so important to notify us.” Placing the emphasis on your employees’ wellbeing helps take them off the defensive.
  1. Open up a discussion. Give them a chance to explain and offer solutions. Their poor attendance record may be the result of a bigger issue. Ask: “Is there something going on that’s causing you to be late or miss so much work? Is there something we can do to help?”
  1. Make accommodations when appropriate. If an employee has difficulties getting to work on time after dropping their children off at school, for example, you might consider allowing a more flexible schedule. (Just remember that, in the spirit of treating all staff equally, you’ll want to develop a specific policy and apply it across the board.) However, if a health condition or family medical emergency is the root cause of absenteeism, it’s wise to consult an HR professional right away. This situation needs to be handled delicately to ensure compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act and Family Medical Leave Act. In this situation, there may be multiple ways to address the problem, including a staff member taking a leave of absence .
  1. Know when to take it up a notch. If the absenteeism or tardiness persists, it’s time for formal counseling. Depending on your company’s structure, counseling could come in the form of meetings with the employee’s immediate manager or an HR representative. Lay out your expectations for attendance, and the serious, specific consequences for unexcused absences from work.

Summing it all up

Poor employee attendance can be a serious issue – one for which many business leaders feel unprepared to address. Yet with the above steps in mind, you’ll help put the brakes on absenteeism, and potentially make your company a happier and more productive workplace.

The key component to having a successful business is surrounding yourself with the right team. Rushing through the employee hiring process may lead to big mistakes being made. Having employees that simply aren’t showing up for work can affect your productivity levels in a negative way.

In a recent study, nearly 40 percent of employees polled claimed to have called into work even when they felt well enough to go. If you are dealing with employee attendance issues, addressing them head-on is essential.

In some cases, these attendance issues may be caused by scheduling conflicts. Solving these issues will be much easier when investing in state-of-the-art employee scheduling software . By taking your employee scheduling digital, you can reduce the number of human errors that occur.

Read below to find out more about some of the effective methods you can use to address employee attendance issues.

1. Put Your Attendance Policy in Writing

Having an employee handbook that clearly lays out the expectations you have is wise. By putting these things in black and white, you can avoid employees using excuses like they didn’t know to get out of trouble when missing work.

Most companies abide by the “three strikes” policy when it comes to excessive tardiness and absences. While no one ever wants to fire an employee, there are some instances when this is the best option. If an employee can’t seem to show up for work even when they have been warned multiple times, you need to replace them with someone who is willing to work.

2. Take Time to Collect Evidence

Are you in the process of scheduling a meeting with an employee to talk about their absences? Before you go into this meeting, be sure to take time to compile evidence . Having actual dates and facts to support the claims you are making will help you get your point across.

Compiling this evidence will also show your employees how serious you are about them showing up to work. Rather than going into one of these meetings with a defensive mentality, listen to what your employee has to say. If they have legitimate reasons why they have been absent, then you may need to rethink writing them up for this offense.

3. Make Sure Employees Know You Are Aware of What is Going On

One of the worst mistakes you can make as a business owner is detaching yourself from day to day operations. As soon as bad employees see that you are not coming around as often, they will probably start to miss more work. Letting these employees know that you have noticed their tardiness and absences can be effective.

In some situations, all it takes is for one member of upper management to confront an employee to get them back in line. If this approach does not work, you need to be prepared to levy harsh punishments.

4. Show Concern For Employees

If an employee starts missing a lot of work all of the sudden, chances are they are dealing with some personal issues. While you need to avoid prying into their personal life, let an employee know that your door is always open should they need to talk.

If the person in question is a valued employee, you need to show a bit of leniency for them. Jumping the gun on firing one of your best employees can lead to lots of productivity problems in the future.

5. Keep Lines of Communication Open

Giving your employees the impression you are unapproachable can come back to haunt you in the future. You need to make sure your team knows they can come to you any time they have a problem. If an employee needs to miss work to attend to personal matters, you need to ensure they feel comfortable talking to you.

Not only can keeping lines of communication open reduce absences, it can make your company run like a well-oiled machine. Investing some time in meeting with each of your employees just to “checkup” on them will let them see you actually care about them and their well-being.

6. Be Willing to Accommodate Employees

Using a one size fits all approach when it comes to employee absences is foolish. Each situation will be unique and will need to be treated as such. In some cases, you will need to offer accommodations to your employees if they are dealing with things like a death in the family or sickness. Showing your employees compassion can be an effective way to keep them loyal to your company for a long time to come.

Are you finding it hard to manage employee issues on a daily basis? If so, it may be time to outsource your human resource tasks. By doing this, you can focus more on growing your company.

Managers Must Commit to Managing Employee Attendance

How to handle an employee's attendance problems

Morsa Images / Getty Images

How to handle an employee's attendance problems

Susan Heathfield is an HR and management consultant with an MS degree. She has decades of experience writing about human resources.

Attendance is critical in many customer-facing jobs. Poor attendance saps the morale of employees, costs employers overtime expenses, and reduces employee engagement. Poor attendance takes supervisory time and attention and often results in disciplinary action.

You can manage employee attendance to reduce attendance problems. You do need to take it on as an important component of any management or supervisory job. Here’s how to manage and encourage attendance. Use these five steps to encourage employee attendance at work.

Steps to Encourage Employee Attendance

First, you must have a way to track the time people take off from work so that the integrity of your Paid Time Off (PTO) policy, your sick leave policy, and/or your paid vacation policy is ensured. This also ensures that the time-off-rules are the same for every employee which is important for the sense of workplace fairness and justice.

When employees are managed across departments, you need to ensure that what John experiences in the warehouse is the same policy that Mary experiences in the office. Employees notice when employees are treated differently and this disparate treatment creates problems with motivation and engagement.

This is especially important to manage unscheduled absences for which many workplaces have trouble with work coverage. Encouraging employee attendance is important for any customer-facing workstation. Attendance is also critical when one employee’s work is dependent on the work of the prior employee in jobs such as manufacturing or assembling products.

Teachers, customer support specialists, technical support providers, health care professionals, and other direct service employees are examples of employees who have workstations that employees must staff on a daily basis. Otherwise, employers are at a loss to schedule and find staff replacements to do their work.

This attendance includes timely arrival at their workstation as well. For example, if a nurse is late for work in the intensive care unit, the nurse from the prior shift cannot leave to go home for a well-deserved rest. If an employee is expected to staff a middle station on an assembly line, either one employee has to work at two stations which is inconvenient and can even endanger the employee or the employer has to find a replacement.

You Must Commit to Managing Absenteeism

Second, and probably most importantly, you need to manage absenteeism and encourage employee attendance. This means that the employee needs to call in directly to the supervisor who is trained to manage absenteeism. This starts with the personal call and the supervisor telling the employee that he or she will be missed and describing the impact of their absence on the workplace.

Each absence ends with the manager or supervisor personally welcoming the employee back to work, encouraging employee attendance in the future, and once again, emphasizing the impact of the employee’s absence on the workplace and their coworkers.

You are not holding this conversation in a blaming tone of voice—after all, many employee absences are legitimate and necessary—you are genuinely welcoming the employee back to work and reinforcing the impact of an unscheduled absence. Your conversation should, once again, describe the impact that the absence had on the employees and the workplace.

Enable Workplace Flexibility Whenever Possible

Third, if possible, allow flexibility with schedules in your workplace so that an employee with an early doctor’s appointment or a sick child, for example, can work later or come earlier to make up the time.

Women, unfortunately, according to the U.S. Department of Labor figures, experience more attendance problems related to illness, injury, and other family matters.  

So, this workplace flexibility might also include the ability to share jobs, schedule flexible days or hours, and work from home, or telecommute, under guidelines. Some think that compensatory or comp time encourages a clock-watching attitude. This may not be in keeping with the mindset of accomplishing the whole job and goals that you look for in an exempt or salaried employee. But, exempt jobs are also the jobs that will most frequently allow flexibility for the employee and the employer.

Rewards and Recognition for Employees

Fourth, rewards and recognition for positive employee attendance can make a difference. While you don’t want people feeling as if their employer must pay them extra for doing their job, you do want them to know that you appreciate and respect their positive attendance.

In some cases, especially with non-exempt employees, and to reduce unscheduled absences, you may want to build actual monetary rewards into your employee attendance policy. These policies emphasize rewarding attendance over a certain number of days. You do, with the employee recognition portion of your attendance policy, want to emphasize the days of attendance, not the act of lowering absences.

Too many attendance policies focus on the punishment side of the equation. More emphasis on rewards for positive attendance might give you more bang for your bucks. Nevertheless, a successful, motivational attendance policy must focus on both.

Provide Consequences

Finally, as with any employment responsibility, an employee must experience consequences if the employee is failing in his or her work attendance. To whom are the consequences the most important? To all of the employees who have good attendance, work hard, and find their personal morale and motivation affected by people who have poor attendance. Progressive discipline is critical, starting with coaching and feedback, and performing the steps in attendance management listed above. Your attending employees will thank you.

How to handle an employee's attendance problems

How to handle an employee's attendance problems

Attendance problems – not a situation a manager wants to face, but a situation a manager can handle quickly and successfully.

Many employers immediately turn to disciplinary or discharge measures for employees with attendance problems. While often a valid response, employers also need to realize the ramifications of certain employment laws. If an attendance problem is handled poorly and a termination results, an employee could bring a successful claim of wrongful termination, given the protections provided in particular laws such as:

  • Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA): Under ADA, employers cannot discriminate against an employee because of a disability. In fact, the employer has a duty to reasonably accommodate an employee’s disability. While the duty to accommodate does not relieve an employee from meeting “the same performance and conduct standards” as other similarly positioned employees (without disabilities), “adjustments to various existing policies may be necessary to provide reasonable accommodation.”
  • Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA): Under FMLA, employees are entitled to be absent from work for FMLA reasons as long as they follow proper notification procedures. If an employee has followed proper procedures and is absent for an FMLA reason, the employer cannot discipline the employee for being absent from work, even if the employer does not believe the reason for absence is justified or has a no-fault attendance policy.
  • Worker’s Compensation Disability Act: While unlawful for an employer to discriminate against an employee because the employee has filed a complaint or exercised rights under a state Worker’s Compensation disability act, it may or may not be unlawful to terminate an employee because of absences resulting from a work-related illness or injury.

Key strategies for addressing them

These laws and their implications for disciplinary action are important to keep in mind. In addition, employers may consider a number of key strategies to effectively address employee attendance concerns:

  • Management Style: Management styles that are too authoritarian tend to promote higher levels of absenteeism among employees. By identifying overtly authoritarian managers and providing them with management training, you will be taking a positive step toward reducing absenteeism as well as reducing turnover, job burnout, and potential employee health problems.
  • Working Conditions: Beyond the physical workplace environment, stress in relationships among coworkers can lead to attendance problems. Companies cannot afford employees calling in sick when the problem is simply not wanting to deal with “so and so” at work. By adopting policies to promote respect and professionalism, and by adhering to internal conflict resolution procedures, businesses can reduce employee stress.
  • Incentive Programs: Providing incentives can be used to motivate employees to avoid unnecessary absenteeism. For instance, some companies allow employees to cash-in unused sick days at the end of every calendar year. Others provide employees with bonus pay for perfect attendance (e.g. the equivalent of five work hours for every quarter) or acknowledge employees with certificates of achievement (and even thank-you gifts) presented by the President at a special recognition lunch. When developing an incentive program for your company, invite and encourage employees to help develop the program. While the management team may think that a $50 McDonald’s gift certificate will be a strong motivator, your employees may have much different preferences. For example, your employees may much prefer the opportunity to leave two hours early on Friday if they have perfect attendance in the previous payroll period. By inviting employees’ early input, you will be able to tailor your incentives to maximize their impact on employee behavior.
  • Attendance Policy: Every company should have an attendance policy which allows a manager to intervene with an employee who is frequently absent. If you address an employee about his or her frequent absenteeism, and he or she informs you that the problem stems from personal issues, consider referring the employee to an Employee Assistance Program (EAP). Moreover, ensure that you periodically review your Employee Handbook’s attendance policy to make sure it remains aligned with current business operations and in compliance with state or federal employment laws.

Remember: If the employee’s absenteeism relates to a medical problem or a family member with a medical problem, you may need to consider informing and offering the employee the provisions allowed to him or her under the Americans with Disability Act (ADA) and / or the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). Early indications of and responses to such employee situations can help prevent any further absence from work and expedite an employee’s return to work.

Incorporating these strategies can help resolve costly and annoying attendance issues as well as help improve employee morale, retention, and overall health.

How to handle an employee's attendance problems

How to handle an employee's attendance problems

Published: December 19, 2019

HRMantra : No. 1 In Attendance Management Software

Startups have really changed the office culture. Most importantly, it has managed to loosen the tight nine-to-five routine that we dislike the most.

In fact, a lot of corporates started trusting their employees with managing their own schedules. They can choose their own work hours and decide for themselves when to show up to the office as long as they get their work done.

However, there is always a downside to every outlook. Many employees tend to become tardy and stay absent and eventually make this a regular occurrence. These employee attendance issues result in lost productivity and also affect other employees.

So, What Is Employee Absenteeism Exactly?

Absenteeism is the employee attendance issue, whereby there is a frequent lack of attendance at work without any valid reason. Now, occasional no-show or no-call instances doesn’t count.

A recent survey showed that employee absenteeism has been on the rise. About 40 percent of employees called in sick even though they were well enough to go to work, up from 35 percent in 2016.

Many business leaders ignore their employees’ behavior because they don’t want to hamper their relationship with them. But whatever the reason, if there is excessive absenteeism, it’s important to talk this through.

Three Reasons Why You Should Confront Employees With Attendance Issues

  • Affects Your Other Employees

That’s right. When an employee is absent, other team members have to take up for the missing work. Thus, they need to continually do more work than they need to, which results in more stress.

  • Delays in Completion of Project

When employees are missing most of the time, it affects the entire project. Deadlines are missed, and in certain cases, you might also lose an important contract. It might have a bad impact on your company’s reputation.

  • Breeds Resentment Among Employees

Eventually, when other team member starts to notice that the missing employee is not facing any trouble, it creates a sense of bitterness. They feel that they are working harder than they need to and not even getting compensated for that. It could lower employees’ morale.

In short, employee attendance issues can act as a roadblock to a company’s success. That’s why it is essential to tackle employee attendance problems.

But worry not, we are going to discuss the sure-shot eight steps that will help you deal with your employees’ attendance issue effectively.

How to Handle Employee Attendance Issues?

I. Craft a Clear Policy

The very first to handling employee attendance issues is by creating an official attendance policy.

It doesn’t matter whether you have ten or fifty employees or you have an official HR department. An employee attendance policy spells out not only the number of leaves an employee can take but also the consequences of needless absenteeism.

It makes expectations for work behavior and disciplinary action clear to all team members. Create a detailed policy — consider different situations like scheduled and unscheduled absences and tardiness and accordingly, draft a disciplinary measure for every possible situation. It will ensure that employees do not take absenteeism casually.

But make sure that the policy is not biased and is fair to both the employee and employer.

Looking for attendance software? Check out SoftwareSuggest’s list of the best Attendance Management Software solutions.

II. Keep Track of Employees Leaves

Without keeping track of employees’ attendance records, you can’t deal with their absenteeism.

There are many ways to track employees’ absenteeism. It may depend upon what works best for your company. For instance, you can use a time tracking tool that records the hours worked by the staff. Or, another way is to integrate your timekeeping system with employee performance tool.

If you want, you can also keep a separate spreadsheet for employees’ attendance entry. This is only useful when you have a small team, though.

Gathering this information is important because it gives you evidence in support of your decision when you try to confront your employees with the issues.

III. Discuss No-Shows and Unscheduled Absences Immediately

The first time they don’t show up for a shift, don’t wait for them to repeat it again. Directly address the situation without letting much time to pass.

Open up discussion and talk to them about their behavior. Tell them you have noticed their absenteeism and ask them why it happened and what’s expected of them. You should also let them know if their behavior has caused any need for disciplinary action.

In some extreme cases, you can use the trick to hold a formal return-to-work interview when they have been absent for a long time.

Such disciplinary actions show that employees’ behavior is being taken seriously, and there is no room for any wiggle.

IV. Find the Cause of Absenteeism and Treat It

The human resource team must have a thorough understanding of the individual circumstance.

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How to handle an employee's attendance problems

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According to a study by the Society for Human Resources Management reported in Forbes, absenteeism cost the American economy $1.8 billion in 2007. As a small business owner, you don’t have much wiggle room in your staffing budget to cope with employees who are chronically absent, but it’s hard to justify disciplinary action when an employee points to genuine illness as her reason for constantly calling in. The best approach is to work one-on-one with problem employees, treating each case individually to come up with a plan that suits everyone’s needs.

Draw up a sick leave policy before absenteeism becomes a problem. In the contract presented to new hires, explain that your company requires a doctor’s note for absences longer than three business days.

Explain to employees what will happen if they don’t follow the company’s sick leave policy. The best follow-up is usually an interview to discuss absenteeism and how management can work with the staff member to reduce the number of sick days taken.

Monitor the attendance of all employees. According to an article for Entrepreneur magazine, people call in sick less often when they know their absences are being tracked.

Meet with the employee after he returns to work. If he returns with a doctor’s note, review the letter with the worker. If the person doesn’t offer a doctor’s note, remind the person of the company’s policy and give her a few days to get a written explanation from a doctor before administering disciplinary action — for example, an initial written warning that long, unexplained absences are grounds for termination of employment.

Discuss possible work environment adjustments with the employee if she presents evidence of a chronic illness or disability. According to the Americans with Disabilities Act, employers are required to provide reasonable accommodations to workers with chronic disabilities or illnesses, provided that doing so doesn’t cause the business “undue hardship.” If you need suggestions to get the conversation started, the Job Accommodation Network makes recommendations by illness or disability.

Grant employees with long-term illnesses, drug or alcohol problems leaves of absence to seek treatment. According to the Family and Medical Leave Act, you’re obligated to provide 12 work weeks of unpaid leave within a one-year period to an employee needing treatment, recovery time or inpatient care, as long as you employ 50 or more people over 20 or more work weeks within the calendar year. To show your support for your employees, consider providing this leave, even if your company’s size doesn’t make you legally obligated to do so.

Issue a written warning if absenteeism continues, despite reasonable accommodations. You should have a written record of actions you’re taking to support the employee, along with documented proof of poor attendance.

Terminate the employee’s tenure with your company as a last resort. If you choose to let a worker go, be prepared with a financial breakdown showing the hardship that further accommodations would bring to your company.

Posted on May 16, 2016 by

It’s the morning after Mardi Gras, and Joe calls in sick. You were expecting it—after all, he was sick the Friday before a long weekend, and the Monday after the big game. Joe’s not alone – 2007 research from time and attendance software provider Kronos suggested that approximately 7 million U.S. workers call in “sick” after the Super Bowl each year.

While employees may not realize the consequences of their behavior to the organization, excessive absences have a significant impact on workplace productivity. In a small business, these effects are even more noticeable, because the size of the company means the work can’t always be redistributed among other employees. And no matter the size of the company, morale is affected when coworkers have to pick up the slack of a routinely absent worker. But by dealing with attendance issues as soon as they arise, managers can control the issue and reduce the negative effects on the business.

Step One: Documentation
Record the employee’s absences to see if any obvious trends or patterns exist. It can be helpful to create a chart to record the days, or use specific colors to annotate a printed monthly calendar . Visually representing the leave will help you identify if a pattern of absences is occurring—and it can also be a reality check for the employee to see his leave documented in that way.

Check if he always calls out on the same days, before or after the weekend, or around major events. Determine how long the pattern has been occurring and see if you can identify the reason. More than one employee’s absences have conveniently coincided with the home games of the local baseball team.

Step Two: Consider the Family Medical Leave Act
Has the employee given you an excuse for his absences? If so, review the reasons to see if they are covered by the Family Medical Leave Act , or FMLA. Occasional sniffles and the common cold don’t qualify—but if your employee is suffering from migraines, he is likely to be entitled to family medical leave. Even if you don’t know the reason, a pattern of absences might indicate that the employee could qualify for intermittent leave . Give him the FMLA certification form for his doctor to complete.

Companies with 50 or more employees—or who have employed 50 or more workers for at least 20 weeks within the current or previous calendar year—are required to provide unpaid, protected leave to eligible staff members. The employee must have been employed for at least 12 months, worked a minimum of 1,250 hours in the previous 12 months, and be located at a worksite where at least 50 other company employees are also employed within a 75-mile radius.

Step Three: Meet with the Employee
Once you’ve prepared the chart and gathered the relevant paperwork , set a time to meet with the employee. Choose a private location and schedule a time when you won’t be interrupted.

  • Conversation Tip Prepare the employee for the meeting by letting him know what you plan to discuss: “Joe, I’d like to meet with you at 3 today, in my office. I have some concerns about your attendance that I need to discuss with you.”

Tell the employee you’ve noticed he’s been absent frequently, and explain the effects his attendance has on the company as a whole.

  • Conversation Tip“Joe, when you’re out, customers notice delays, and your coworkers have to take on the extra work. It makes it difficult for us to get the job done the way we need to.”

Share the chart with him and ask if he, too, notices a pattern to the leave. Ask him if there is an explanation for the pattern of absences. Keep a neutral tone and remain calm, avoiding judgments or accusations.

  • Conversation Tip“As your supervisor, I keep records of your leave requests. I’d like you to take a look at this chart—it seems to me there’s a pattern to your unscheduled absences. Can you tell me why you’ve been absent on so many Monday mornings?”

Listen to the employee’s response and evaluate the situation. Provide him with any relevant paperwork, such as the FMLA certification form , relevant workers compensation papers if he alleges an injury caused on the job, or a referral to the employee assistance program if it’s appropriate and your company uses one.

Step Four: Potential Accommodations
Sometimes the employee will reveal a reason for leave that may be protected by either the FMLA or the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). For example, if the employee provides care for a sick or disabled relative and is required to transport them to treatment on Wednesday mornings. The treatment center doesn’t open until 8:00 a.m.— the time the employee is due to start work. As a result, the employee is late or calls in every Wednesday. A situation like this can be easily accommodated in most workplaces by adjusting his start time to 8:15 or 8:30. However, in certain cases—perhaps where the worker is the only employee, required to open the doors for business at 8:00—an unreasonable hardship might occur. Carefully evaluate all possible options for accommodation on a case-by-case basis.

  • Conversation Tip“I want to work with you to resolve this problem. What suggestions do you have for making sure the issue doesn’t continue? Is there anything we can do to help you achieve it?”

Step Five: Requiring Improvement
If the employee does not provide a justified or protected reason for his attendance problems, inform him of the consequences of continued absenteeism. Make sure he realizes that continued excessive or undocumented absences could lead to disciplinary action , and even cost him his job. Consider requiring the worker to produce a doctor’s note for each unscheduled absence from the workplace, otherwise he will be considered absent without leave. Put this requirement in writing, or include it in a performance improvement plan *, with other documented expectations for improvement, such as calling in to speak to a live person, and reducing the number of unscheduled absences. Review the plan periodically—at 30, 60 and 90 days—to determine if the employee’s attendance has improved. This isn’t a permanent solution—once a sustained improvement has been observed, you can remove the verification requirement or graduate the employee from the performance plan.

  • Conversation Tip“From now on, I’m instructing you to bring a doctor’s note every time you call out sick. We’ll meet again in 30 days to review your progress and I’ll let you know then if this requirement will continue.”

Step Six: Disciplinary Action
If you’ve ruled out FMLA and ADA, and the employee still fails to improve, despite counseling, performance improvement plans and any accommodations you provide, it’s time to take further disciplinary action , up to and including dismissal from employment. If you discover the employee was dishonest about his leave, this is also a reason for discipline.

Things to Consider:

  • Make sure your company has a strong sick leave policy, emphasizing that verification may be required.
  • Check that employees are aware of the call-in requirements.
  • Lead by example. You can’t expect your employees to adhere to a strict attendance policy if you continually flout it yourself.

Don’t discipline an employee with an attendance problem by suspending him—it’s not usually an effective resolution to the problem.

How to handle an employee's attendance problems

10 de February, 2021

Employee absenteeism can have very negative consequences on your business’s profitability. Indeed, the costs of employee absenteeism are often significant. A company should then look at ways to decrease its absenteeism rate in order to optimise its staff’s productivity. In this article we provide you with 9 solutions to better manage employee absenteeism.

Table of Contents

How can employee absenteeism be reduced?

You won’t be able to completely solve the problem of absenteeism in the workplace. Employees will have unscheduled absences from time to time for various reasons.

But there still are several ways you can improve employee attendance. Most of them involve working on creating a healthier working environment as well as stating clear attendance rules. Here are the best strategies you can employ to reduce employee absenteeism:

1. Create a clear attendance policy

Your workers should know exactly what is expected of them in terms of attendance. You policy should therefore state how employees are to report absences, how your company will follow up on unsanctioned absences,as well as what the consequences are for excessive absenteeism. Moreover, in order for your policy to be taken seriously, you must enforce it consistently.

2. Reward good attendance

Implementing a reward scheme for employees with good attendance records is a great way to give them an additional incentive to attend work. But be careful with this one and remember that there can be perfectly legitimate reasons for being absent, such as illnesses. Therefore, the reward system shouldn’t penalise the employees who have excused absences.

3. Address unsanctioned absences immediately

You should deal with absenteeism according to your attendance policy and be consistent when handing out consequences. However, addressing unscheduled absences isn’t only about dishing out sanctions. You should also be understanding and provide support to your employees. Try to find out the reason behind their absences, they might have a problem that you can help them with.

In that regard, a good practice to introduce is the return-to-work interview. This helps the worker ease back into their role, shows that the company cares about its staff and reduces the risk of repeated absenteeism.

How to handle an employee's attendance problems

4. Improve employee well-being

Absenteeism is often linked to a stressful or unhealthy work environment. You can then look at ways to reduce stress in the workplace, for instance by implementing a wellness program or taking the appropriate measures to fight harassment.

Make looking after your employees’ health one of your top priorities. Physical and mental health are essential to an engaged and productive workforce.

5. Offer flexible work options

Offering flexible working hours is an excellent idea to increase your employees’ well-being and their attachment to the organisation.Your should therefore consider introducing flexible schedules and remote work. Some companies even offer unlimited vacation days!

Sesame’s employee panel makes it really easy for employees with a flexible schedule to record their attendance and track how many work hours they have left.

6. Encourage employee engagement

A good way to make your staff more committed and actually want to come to work is to increase their engagement. This means maintaining an efficient internal communication system where employees can follow what is going on in the company, suggest improvements, report problems, etc.

It also includes investing in employee training and development programs. That way, workers can improve their skills and participate more and more in the organisation’s activities.

How to handle an employee's attendance problems

7. Foster a teamwork culture

Following up on the previous idea, employees are more engaged when they feel that they are part of a team. A sense of belonging increases a worker’s motivation to go to work and their loyalty towards the company. This will also make them think twice before taking an unplanned day off and making things more difficult for their team.

8. Provide feedback

Let your employees know what they can improve, but also what they are doing right. Indeed, providing guidance and encouragement makes the employees feel noticed. It will also push them to give their best and want to improve their performance, making them less likely to miss work.

9. Keep track of employee absences

Finally, use absence management tools to track employee work time and absences. They allow you to get useful data and measure employee absenteeism. With time, you will be able to check if you were successful in reducing employee absenteeism and make appropriate changes to your policy.

Some companies have implemented so-called “no-fault” attendance policies that utilize a point system in order to monitor the attendance of their employees. The aim of such attendance policies is to discourage absenteeism and tardiness. However, no-fault attendance policies can run afoul of legally protected rights to leave.

If your employer has a no-fault attendance policy, they may be violating your rights under state and federal employment laws.

What is a No-Fault Attendance Policy?

No-fault attendance policies operate by penalizing workers for missing work by allocating points to an employee’s record for each absence regardless of the reason for such absence. The points accrue over a period of time and, depending on the company’s specific policy, the employee is disciplined or fired if they hit a certain number of points. Specific point totals and the extent of the punishment can vary from company to company.

Employers claim that these policies simplify the company’s attendance regulations. However, this oversimplification of employee attendance and leave policies can lead to serious violations of laws that protect employees’ rights to receive time off from work. Our attorneys are investigating such violations.

How Do “No-Fault” Attendance Policies Potentially Violate Workers’ Rights?

Under federal laws

No-fault attendance policies may result in violations of federal laws like the Family and Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”) and the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”). These laws protect workers who need time off from work due to medical problems, disabilities, or to care for a family member.

Because no-fault attendance policies require employers to treat all absences the same, employers that use no-fault attendance policies may assign points for legally protected forms of leave under the FMLA and ADA. As a result, employees are punished for taking legally protected leave.

Employers may violate an employee’s rights under the ADA if the attendance policy does not adequately excuse the employee for protected absences related to a qualified disability. However, employers are not permitted to discipline workers under these circumstances.

Under California state laws

In California, laws like the California Labor Code, the California Family Rights Act[1] (“CFRA”), the California Pregnancy Disability Leave (“PDL”) law, and California’s New Parent Leave Act[2] (“NPLA”), legally protect certain forms of leave or tardiness from being subject to discipline.

Like federally protected forms of leave, these California state laws prohibit employers from taking disciplinary actions against employees who miss time from work under these statutes.

The U.S. Department of Labor Has Provided Guidance Related to these Policies

The Wage and Hour Division of the Department of Labor (“DOL”) has issued an opinion regarding issues that may arise from no-fault attendance policies. You can find the opinion here https://www.dol.gov/sites/dolgov/files/WHD/legacy/files/2018_08_28_1A_FMLA.pdf .

The DOL opinion explains that the removal of absenteeism points is a reward for working and, therefore, an employee benefit. Under most no-fault absence policies, points are maintained on an employee’s record for a period of 12 months of “active service” after accrual.

A no-fault attendance policy may run afoul of the FMLA when taking a qualified FMLA leave results in an employee losing a benefit. This can occur where an employer fails to treat all legally protected forms of leave as “active service” for purposes of point accrual and point removal.

For instance, if an employer counts workers’ compensation leave as “active service” under its no-fault policy, an employee who goes out on workers comp will continue to accrue time toward the 12 months necessary to remove absence points from his or her record. But that same employer would unlawfully discriminate against an employee if it does not count FMLA leave as “active service,” because this would result in absenteeism points being maintained on the employee’s record for a period longer than 12 months after accrual.

It is important to understand that a leave policy’s compliance with the DOL opinion does not guarantee that the policy is fully legal and that it does not in some way violate other laws. This is especially relevant in terms of the policy’s relation to state laws, which is an area that the DOL does not oversee.

What can I do about it?

Knowing your rights as an employee is essential to ensuring that your employer is not violating protections given to you under federal and state law.

It may be in your best interest to consult an attorney to assess whether you are being unfairly treated under a no-fault attendance policy.

Depending on the case, class or collective action may be taken against your employer, as multiple employees may have similar legal claims. In class action cases, a small number of individuals may represent a larger group who have all been similarly harmed by a company. The lawsuit then will seek to halt the company’s abusive practices as well as recover a financial reward for the class through a court decision or settlement.

Do I Have to Pay Attorney’s Fees?

No. Attorneys typically handle wage and hour claims on a contingent fee basis. This means that the lawyers don’t get paid fees unless they obtain a recovery for you.

If your employer utilizes a no-fault attendance policy, they may be violating your rights given to you under state and federal regulations. If this is the case for you or if you have other questions relating to no-fault attendance policies, please contact us at 844-696-7492 (toll-free) or email us at [email protected] . You can also fill out the form on this page.

We will promptly evaluate your claim and let you know whether you are eligible to participate in a lawsuit.

[1] The California Family Rights Act requires employers of 5 or more employees to provide 12 weeks of job-protected leave to employees to bond with a new child (by birth, adoption, or foster placement), to care for a family member with a serious health condition, or because the employee has a serious health condition (other than pregnancy).

[2] New Parent Leave Act provides eligible employees 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave to bond with a new child within 1 year of the child’s birth, adoption, or foster care placement. It applies to employers with 20 or more employees.

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How to handle an employee's attendance problems

Employee absenteeism can be a serious issue if left unchecked. While some bosses may want to be viewed as laid back and more casual, there is a difference between being laid back and allowing employees get away with behavior that could significantly hurt the company.

Think about the consequences of ignoring the attendance track record of an employee who seems to be making a habit of no-shows. What message does this send to your other employees? Why should they work hard at their jobs, when one of their co-workers seemingly gets off scot-free after habitually missing work? Morale is likely going to suffer. You may even start to lose the trust of your other employees—those who diligently show up to work every day.

Poor employee attendance can be a difficult situation to address for some business owners, and yet it is a situation that definitely needs addressing.

The Fallout of Employee Absenteeism

Beyond compromising morale, there are further ramifications of unaddressed employee absenteeism that could impact your office. Among such issues are:

  • Productivity suffers. The absence of one employee could slow down your processes and hinder output. This is in turn, negatively affects productivity.
  • Your company’s reputation could suffer. When one employee is repeatedly gone, this does impact your ability to get jobs done and therefore, detrimentally impacts your overall reputation.
  • It could inspire a domino effect. If other employees sense that nothing is being done to curtail this behavior, what is to stop them from being absent.

Poor employee attendance isn’t good for business no matter how you look at it. As the boss, you need to step in and find a solution to what could otherwise become a very problematic situation.

How to handle an employee's attendance problems

How Do You Tell an Employee to Improve Their Attendance?

As mentioned, this can be a delicate situation. There are tactful and professional ways to approach such a dialogue that demonstrate how serious you are about this issue and still allow the employee a chance to explain their behavior. It is about finding that balance—bosses often have to find this balance; it’s part of what they do.

Make Sure Your Attendance Policy Is in Writing

First off, your employee handbook should clearly state the company’s policies when it comes to attendance and absenteeism. What are the consequences of excessive absenteeism? When you bring in new hires, make sure to not only share the employee handbook with them, but you might go a step further and specifically point out what the rules are regarding time off, unexcused absences and poor attendance.

Address the Employee

Don’t Come Off Too Aggressive

It may be that the employee does have a trying personal issue with which they are dealing. There could be something at home that is affecting their attendance. Expressing your concern in any conversation that you have is a good way to show that the company is there to support them and that you are willing to help them work through potentially difficult personal situations if need be. Employees are human beings; showing empathy and compassion might just help the situation.

Consider Making Accommodations for the Employee

This is really going to depend on the circumstances surrounding their absences and what you discover as a result of any conversations that you have with that employee. For example, if childcare is becoming a problematic issue, then you could consider giving them a more flexible schedule that allows for some work-from-home time. If there is a medical problem at the core of their absenteeism, you want to ensure that you are in compliance with any state and federal regulations here. You could bring in an HR expert to help you more effectively navigate the situation so that you better understand expectations and requirements.

Think About Next Steps

If the problem persists and you’ve determined that the absenteeism isn’t necessarily warranted , then you as the boss need to decide what to do next. Do you get that employee counseling? Might it be beneficial for you and the employee to meet with an HR professional in order to come up with a course of action should the behavior persist? Or, is termination called for in this circumstance? The key is to carefully examine all sides of the issue and if you are unsure, bring in a human resource professional, both to help you handle an employee who is habitually absent and also to ensure compliance with all relevant laws.

Axcet HR Solutions Works with Kansas City Businesses

We’ve helped numerous small businesses across Kansas City deal with issues of employee absenteeism. Such problems can be stressful and take their toll on the company as a whole. You may not have the resources to handle this type of situation on your own. Our experienced HR consultants can walk you through your options and potentially help mediate between you and the employee. Call today and let’s figure out a solution together!

How to handle an employee's attendance problems

Meeting business goals can become difficult if no one shows up for work. Not only does poor attendance drain the morale of co-workers who must pick up the slack, but it also increases expenses and reduces productivity. Absenteeism ultimately affects your bottom line. The HR Professionals at Resourcing Edge have identified five actions that can help you identify and improve employee attendance.

According to reference.com, the average number of sick days taken in one year in the United States is 5.2 per employee. When that number is multiplied by your employee count it can become problematic not only to manage but to forecast goals.

1. Set Clear Expectations

  • Make your employees aware of attendance expectations, including call off procedures and how to request leave.
  • Ensure they are aware of the impact poor attendance can have on the company, including its effects on co-workers, customer service, and workload.
  • This information should be shared during the on-boarding process and communicated on a regular basis.
  • Clearly define expectations in your employee handbook.
  • Having a physical and electronic way for employees to reference will help limit the excuses of not knowing the details or misunderstanding the expectations.
  • Consistency is key when implementing and managing an effective attendance policy. Ensure you are treating all employees equally. If employees notice that someone else in a similar situation was treated differently, it can lead to a decline in morale and increased turnover rates.
  • Consider implementing a point and/or strike system. These can hold employees accountable for their attendance and set clear consequences.

2. Look For Hidden Causes

  • Poor attendance can be a result of a larger problem. Aside from an injury or illness, there could be other factors causing attendance issues.
  • Be on the lookout for:
    • Conflicts with co-workers or supervisors
    • Issues with the work itself (heavy workload, deadlines, lack of training)
    • Family or personal issues
  • Before any disciplinary action is taken, take the time to meet with the employee to determine the cause of their attendance issues. You might discover their absences could be protected under FMLA or ADA.
  • Taking the time to determine the root cause of missing work can lead to a plan of action to get the employee to work and back on track.

3. Train Supervisors

  • Supervisors have a responsibility to manage and encourage employee attendance. In most companies, employees are required to contact supervisors directly when they are going to be out. Properly trained supervisors monitor and address issues promptly and effectively.
  • Initially, supervisors should accept a call off without asking too many questions, accept the reason for the absence, understand the impact the absence could have and shift the workload if necessary, and tell the employee they will be missed.
  • If a pattern develops or the supervisor feels an employee could be abusing the policy, a note about the absence should be made and the employee’s attendance should be monitored moving forward. Proper documentation will be important if the attendance issues continue resulting in disciplinary actions or termination.
  • Supervisors should be aware of how to track attendance, be familiar with the attendance policy, and know when to apply disciplinary actions.

4. Reward Good Attendance

  • Balancing the consequences of attendance issues with rewards for good attendance is an excellent way to show you recognize employees who are dedicated and gives everyone something positive to strive for.
  • The biggest roadblock employers face when considering a reward system is the mindset that it would be rewarding employees for simply doing what is expected of them—coming to work. However, these programs do not have to be a large expense or even an expense at all. They can be as simple as recognition in a newsletter or during a staff meeting, or certificates given out quarterly.

5. Offer Flexibility

  • This may not be feasible for all companies, but implementing flexibility in work schedules can improve attendance and engagement of employees.
  • By allowing employees to flex their start time you may help employees who are having difficulty at home with childcare. Allowing employees to switch their shifts with co-workers could eliminate call-offs due to unexpected personal issues.
  • Similar to your standard work schedules, any flex schedules should be properly documented and approved by management so these can be tracked and monitored.

Identifying and addressing attendance issues quickly and consistently is a first step in lowering the stress that call-offs can cause businesses. The HR professionals at Resourcing Edge will partner with you to develop an attendance policy that is both effective and compliant to help you focus on managing your business with your employees at work.

Kimberly D. Gray is a Senior HR Services Partner at Resourcing Edge, who has 25 years of experience in employee relations, training, and compliance.

How to handle an employee's attendance problems

Most of the time employees take leave to recover from sickness, manage their personal or health-related needs or take a break from work. When an employee falls into a pattern of taking leave on a regular basis, however, it could potentially impact their standing at their workplace.

Employee attendance problems generally manifest as:

  • A pattern of before and/or after weekend absences
  • Early departures or tardiness
  • Long and/or frequent breaks
  • Unauthorized or unplanned absences
  • Excessive use of leave days, resulting in taking leave without pay

Employees who take more leaves of absence than permitted have a far larger impact on a company’s operations than they likely suspect. Excessive absences can cause a company to experience the following issues over time:

  • A lack of employee availability for prospective customers
  • Lost productivity among the workforce
  • Missed deadlines and/or deliveries for the company
  • Negatively impacts other employees’ deadlines, productivity and/or morale

While employee attendance issues do cause the aforementioned problems, employers can find ways to handle them. Let’s examine a few.

Inform Of Company Attendance Expectations

As mentioned, employee absences do negatively impact a business over time. Employers should approach suspected employees and inform them of the company’s expectations for attendance, avoiding a possibly confrontational tone.

Enforce The Rules

Employers should let employees know of the rules regarding attendance and taking leave. The idea is to remind the employee of the limitations they have regarding attendance, allowing them to potentially reduce the amount of leave they choose to take in the future.

Maintain Good Records

Many companies commend or provide incentives for employees who have good attendance records. Employers who have observed employees attempt to maintain their attendance following a period of absence should recognize them for making an effort to improve their attendance. Of course, to be able to do this the employer must maintain complete, accurate attendance records on all employees.

Counsel Employee

Sometimes, learning why an employee is taking a lot of leave time can help resolve their constant absences. An employer should meet with the employee privately to question and counsel them about their attendance issues.

Explain Affect Their Absence Has On Business

Many employees don’t understand the cost behind excessive absences. While consulting an employee, an employer should also inform them about how their excessive absences have negatively impacted the business.

Take Disciplinary Action

If an employee continues to take excessive leave after receiving a private consultation, an employer should take disciplinary action as soon as possible. Some forms of disciplinary action include written or verbal warnings, suspension and, rarely, termination.

Read more about attendance solutions at On-Time Web.

How to handle an employee's attendance problems

Unemployment Cases: Attendance Issues

Let’s face it, an unemployment case that is based on a discharge for attendance can truly pose a challenge for your HR teams. You and your team may have experienced situations in which the documentation and details you presented did not result in a favorable decision. A key to understanding attendance cases and how the state may rule is understanding how much the final incident can influence the outcome.

The Final Incident

What is a “final incident”? Simply stated, it is the “last straw” that leads to a discharge. And while the final incident is important in all employee discharges, it is especially critical when handling attendance cases. For any discharge case, the employer has to show misconduct occurred during the final incident. A general definition of misconduct is willful or intentional action or behavior that violates a known employment policy or rule. But each state ultimately has their own definition and laws on what constitutes misconduct for unemployment purposes.

With attendance cases, the final incident needs to show that the reason for that absence was within the employee’s control.

What reasons are considered outside of the employee’s control?
In general there are three main reasons an employee could provide that are considered outside of their control:

Job Abandonment

Another reason final incident details are so important with attendance cases has to do with determining the moving party in the separation. This can get tricky with cases involving job abandonment. Even though an employer may have to discharge an employee who stopped reporting to work, it is still the burden for that separated employee to prove that they had good cause to stop reporting. Because of this, job abandonment cases are most often viewed as voluntary separations.

When responding to a job abandonment unemployment case, it is important to provide the following information:

The dates the employee failed to report to work

A copy of your company policy as it pertains to reporting absences

The employee’s signed acknowledgement of that policy

Unemployment Case Documentation

Another key piece of documentation for helping build a strong unemployment attendance case is providing prior warnings for similar behaviors. Attendance cases are based on progressive disciplinary actions per your company’s attendance policy. Your company’s policy should outline what actions need to be taken by management after a specific number of occurrences have taken place. These actions are usually in the form of verbal, written, and final warnings. Providing copies of these warnings or proof of conversations will help in strengthening your case. As with all attendance cases, you will also have to show the state that your company has a uniformly enforced policy and the claimant was aware of that policy.

Unemployment Cost Management

If you want even more best practices for managing your unemployment costs, be sure to check out our recent webinar, Mock Unemployment Hearing: Medical Marijuana in the Workplace to learn best practices in:

Preparing hearing documents and witnesses

How evidence can be offered and received

The burden of proof and the impact it may have to a hearing

The facts that had the most influence on the final decision

And, if you want help managing the ins and outs of unemployment, like better understanding how discharge for attendance can impact your costs, check out our Unemployment Cost Management service. We can help you better manage the uncertainty about unemployment claim costs–both in actual taxes and time to process claims. Equifax has some of the industry’s top subject matter experts to help with improved workflow, better risk mitigation, and potentially lowering costs.

The information provided is intended as general guidance and is not intended to convey any tax, benefits, or legal advice. For information pertaining to your company and its specific facts and needs, please consult your own tax advisor or legal counsel.

Are you sitting comfortably? Welcome to my series of podcasts that will help you to navigate those inevitable difficult events at work that are part of being a manager.

Today I want to talk about dealing with attendance issues

In an ideal world, no one would need to take time off work or be late for work; but the fact is in real life, it happens. People get sick or have problems with childcare, and many companies will allow some leeway, depending on their policy. Problems arise, however, when people take days off when they’re not sick, or turn up to work late and do this continuously.

As a manager, you must deal with this behaviour as soon as you can, even if talking to an otherwise excellent employee about their attendance is difficult. If you fail to deal with attendance issues, it can not only damage the company’s bottom line, it can also upset other employees who attend work and who are always on time.

But attendance issues are not just about being absent from work, they can include arriving late and leaving early and taking extra long breaks. All of these behaviours cost businesses in terms of lost productivity and damage to morale.

Most managers will have to deal with attendance issues occasionally, but if you find that you’re increasingly having those problems with good employees, you might have to investigate the underlying causes more carefully. Could employees be bored, suffering from burnout, or struggling with difficult relationships with colleagues (and maybe even with you?)

How to handle an employee's attendance problems

Let’s look at the problems that poor attendance at work can cause.

It affects continuity.

When an employee is absent from work frequently, teams can’t be continuously productive. Other staff might have to assume their responsibilities or replacement staff might have to be drafted in which disrupts workflow.

It can affect the performance of other employees.

If employees who are frequently absent are seen to be ‘getting away with it,’ this might negatively influence others who might feel like they can do the same. This leads to lower productivity, lower morale among the employees who have to take on extra work, and a higher staff turnover.

It affects business growth.

Rather than growing professionally within their role, a frequently absent employee might fail to become proficient enough in their job role and so potential individual and business growth is affected.

So to avoid this, you need to deal with attendance issues, and here’s how.

Make your expectations clear

Sometimes, employees don’t know how to request time off using the correct procedures, and they may not realise how much of an impact that calling in sick has on the business. Make sure everyone has access to your company’s sickness or attendance policy, which should outline sickness procedure, how to request leave in exceptional circumstances, and the consequences of breaching the terms of the policy. Set a good example by following these procedures to the letter yourself.

Maintain accurate records of lateness or absence

This will make it much easier when you come to speak to someone about their attendance. If you can present them with facts, they’re much more likely to accept what you have to say.

Notice any trends

Does the employee in question call in sick frequently on a Friday or a Monday? Do they take time off near payday? Does an employee arrive 15 minutes late every day because of traffic, or do they just not make the effort to leave on time?

Is attendance an individual problem or does it involve multiple people?

If you need to speak to an individual about their attendance, arrange a one to one meeting. The same rule should apply if there are a few repeat offenders. If you’re dealing with multiple people, have a team meeting. Explain how absence and lateness is affecting the business and preventing it from reaching its goals. It may be a good idea to set attendance targets, then offer the team a reward if it’s met.

Do make allowances

If an employee genuinely has personal issues going on and they need time off, they’ll be more motivated and committed to the company if you honour their request. However, requests for time off should be assessed on a case by case basis, so that employees don’t take advantage of this allowance unnecessarily.

Encourage work-life balance

Employees who have a poor work-life balance are more likely to feel burnt out and resentful that work takes up so much of their time. They may then feel they are justified in taking time off, arriving at work late or leaving early. Encourage people to take regular breaks, to leave work on time, and to avoid dealing with work tasks in the evening when they’re at home.

How to handle an employee's attendance problems

Promote a team mentality

Take steps to encourage healthy relationships between employees, and of course, you and your employees. Not getting on with a manager is one of the main reasons people give for leaving a job. Think about organising social events, retreats, and team-building events to help employees get to know each other and to help build trust. If employees have harmonious relationships in the workplace, they’re less likely to be absent from work.

Promote physical and mental wellbeing

This can help reduce absences due to stress or poor physical health. This could include initiatives like subsidised gym memberships, weight loss schemes, smoking cessation classes, or meditation and relaxation sessions.

A successful business is built on skilled, committed and motivated employees who are willing to pull in the same direction to help it achieve its goals. When that doesn’t happen, it’s the task of the manager to investigate underlying issues then deal with them in a timely manner.

It may not be easy, but the continued survival and success of the business in difficult economic times may depend on it.

I hope that you got some good tips from today’s podcast, and I’ll see you next time. for the next one in the series which looks at how to overcome fear in the workplace.

This is The People Mentor, signing off.

Want to enhance your assertiveness then this blog will give you tips

Find it hard dealing with difficult people then sign up for the eBook here.

How to handle an employee's attendance problems

An attendance policy is a document that tells employees exactly how various issues such as tardiness, no shows, early outs, no call-no shows, and different types of leave will be handled. They often outline a progressive discipline policy for attendance infractions as well.

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How to handle an employee's attendance problems

Attendance Policy Template Download

Download this attendance policy template in Word, and quickly customize it to work for your business. Instant download, no email required.

Employee Attendance Policy Template:

1. Overview.

Employees at [company name> are expected to be present for work, on time, every day. Regular attendance and punctuality are important to keep your team and [company name] operating. Arriving late, being tardy, or absence causes disruptions.

2. Calculation of attendance infractions.

  • Absent with calls: 1 point.
  • Absent, no call: 2 points.
  • Tardy: ½ point.
  • Early departure: ½ point.
  • Late return from lunch or break: 1 point (over 30 minutes).

Employees are given a five minute grace period at the start and end of each scheduled shift and for breaks and for lunch. Employees are required to report an absence by [procedure for reporting an absence]. Employees must report each day they are absent. Failure to call-off one hour prior to a shift will result in a no call-no show.

Attendance infractions reset every [length time or dates on which employee attendance infractions reset. Typically 6 months or 1 year].

3. Overview of disciplinary action for attendance infractions.

Attendance issues will result in progressive disciplinary action up to and including termination based on the following point system:

  • 3 points: Verbal warning.
  • 4 points: Written warning.
  • 5 points: Meeting with manager/supervisor, possible suspension.
  • 6 points: Employee is subject to termination.

If an employee is absent for three or more consecutive days, evidence for excusing the absence, such as a doctor’s note, must be provided.

If an employee is a no call-no show for three or more consecutive days it will be considered a job abandonment, or termination without notice.

Employees may request exceptions for work absences from human resources and management. These must be approved on a case-by-case basis.

4. Excused, unpaid absences without disciplinary action.

Excused, unpaid absences can be granted for funerals, jury duty, bereavement, childbirth, a car accident, medical appointment, and unavoidable emergencies. In these cases, employees must provide documentation to prove a reason for the absence.

5. Failure to clock-In or clock-out.

Employees must clock-in and clock-out for each shift. If there is any problem recording a clock-in or clock-out, inform employees should inform a manager immediately. Employees who consistently fail to clock-in or clock-out may receive disciplinary action, up to and including termination.

6. Attendance policy exceptions.

Absence because of bereavement, jury duty, or military duty, are exempt from disciplinary action, as are FMLA and ADA related absences. Bereavement, jury duty and military exemptions require proper documentation to be given to a manager within 48 hours of the absence.

When an employee is hired, the employee is expected to be regularly available for their scheduled work in return for payment for those days of work.

Absenteeism, which refers to frequent, short, unscheduled, or unexpected absences due to sickness or other types of leaves can negatively affect team productivity and morale and the employer’s reputation.

Supervisors with concerns about an employee’s absenteeism may work with an human resource (HR) adviser to identify the specific issues and next steps.

Process

Contact AskMyHR. You’ll be asked to provide specific information about:

  • The nature and extent of the absenteeism
  • Your concerns about impact to the workplace
  • The dates of absences, be prepared to provide supporting documents

The HR adviser determines whether it’s necessary to consult with specialists from Occupational Health and Safety, Early Intervention and Return to Work, or Employee Relations.

Communication is important. The HR adviser is available to provide guidance. Supervisors must meet with employees to:

  • Give the employee an opportunity to share information about their situation
  • Discuss concerns about the employee’s absences and impact on their work performance and the work unit
  • Ask if there’s anything that may explain the attendance issue
  • Ask if there’s something the supervisor can do to facilitate improved attendance
  • Clarify the purpose of any requests for changes to the employee’s job or work
  • Provide information regarding support through Employee and Family Assistance Services
  • Clearly state the employer’s expectation regarding attendance and plan future attendance goals and timelines

After this meeting, supervisors are encouraged to consult with AskMyHR regarding the discussions. The next step is for a supervisor to provide the employee with a letter that recaps the discussion and outlines the support available to help the employee maintain attendance.

Ongoing Management

Once the employee has been notified of the issue, the supervisor works with them to establish attendance goals, timelines, and regular communication.

There are many reasons for employees to be absent. For example, an employee may have medical issues; a supervisor may encourage the employee to work with their physician to identify a treatment program that enables the employee to improve attendance. Other reasons may include a challenging relationship with a co-worker, a heavy workload, training gaps or a personal issue.

One of the keys to managing employee absences is maintaining a positive relationship with each employee. If the various types of support available to an employee are not helping, a supervisor is encouraged to follow up with AskMyHR and explore possible next steps.

As an HR manager, you understand better than anyone that your employees are the most valuable resource in your organization. Managing them correctly can make or break your bottom line. One important aspect of employee management is attendance. Poor attendance management can lead to a loss of business productivity and profit as well as a higher turnover rate. It’s your job to track and maintain your employees’ working hours while staying compliant with labor laws and regulations. In addition to this, employees can only be paid accurately when their attendance is calculated properly. According to federal labor laws, full-time employees are required to work for 40 hours a week, and employers are required to pay employees who work overtime. When employees are not paid for their overtime, they can file lawsuits. This shows that effective attendance management is highly necessary in today’s workplace. Having a well-managed attendance system can improve your organization’s bottom line and improve the overall efficiency of your organization. Here we have listed the different ways in which an organization can track and maintain its employee’s attendance effectively,

  • Set clear expectations for your employees

Drafting a clear attendance policy that lists rules and expectations is the first step to effective attendance management. It helps you run your business efficiently and reduce unscheduled absenteeism. The policy should outline how to request time off and the consequences of not following attendance procedures. Before drafting the policy, however, keep in mind your company culture to ensure that both are consistent. Talk to your employees, listen to their expectations, and ensure they fully understand the policy.

  • Combine your attendance and payroll

Managing employee attendance accurately is crucial for payroll. When there are errors in your attendance data, you can end up overpaying or underpaying your employees. Analyzing attendance data manually to process payroll can be time-consuming and cause more mistakes, especially when your workforce is large and dispersed in different locations. Using HR software that is integrated with payroll software can help. HR software calculates working hours, overtime, and loss of pay, making payroll processing easier, more transparent, and more accurate.

  • Encourage employees to manage their own attendance

Employees should be able to access their attendance and time off data at their convenience. This will reduce the questions employees have for the HR department, and they’ll be able to plan their own work and vacations. Additionally, you should make the company’s attendance policy accessible through an Employee Self-Service portal. With this information at their disposal, your employees will feel like they have more knowledge and control of their work lives. This autonomy will boost their motivation and ultimately reduce turnover.

  • Be flexible

Rigid attendance policies may make employees dislike their job, and that will reduce their morale. When employees are offered very little time off, unscheduled absenteeism increases, and your company’s bottom line may suffer. So, it’s essential to make your attendance policy flexible. Millennials and Gen Z, who will form the majority of the working population in the coming years, prefer flexibility over any other benefit. It’s important to take this into consideration and respect the concerns of your employees. However, don’t allow unconscious bias to creep in. One example of providing more flexibility is giving a remote work option to your employees when they are not able to be physically present at your workplace.

  • Use an attendance tracker

Managing attendance manually has become a thing of the past. With an attendance tracker, every aspect of attendance management can be automated. Data The inconsistencies can be prevented altogether as the attendance tracker can be integrated with your company’s biometric devices. Employees can log their working hours even when they work remotely with suitable IP and geo-restrictions. Employee absences can be converted into days off, easing payroll processing. In addition to this, the attendance data of all your employees can be consolidated in a single location. With it, you can generate insightful reports that show your employees’ attendance patterns.

Attendance management is an essential aspect of every business. Efficiently managing employee attendance can lead to increased productivity and a better work experience for your staff. Keeping this data as accurate as possible is necessary for staying compliant with federal and state laws, so we recommend using automated attendance tracking software. As the world moves toward more flexible working environments, technology will help all businesses keep track of their employees with ease. We hope these tips gave you insight on how to manage employee attendance effectively!

How to handle an employee's attendance problems

8 Surefire Steps To Handle Employee Attendance Issues

While startups are known for their high productivity and flexible work culture, one of the dark sides often overlooked (until too late) is employee attendance. It’s hard to draw the line between flexible work timings and policy abuse, and harder to recognize when one is crossing it.

The proper management of such attendance issues tends to become a highly challenging task. This is because one needs to juggle between creating a time-bound work culture that is diligent and efficient, without making employees feel unappreciated or undervalued.

If you too have been wondering how to curb excessive employee absenteeism, here are 8 surefire steps which can help you devise a consistent, clear and transparent approach:

1. Craft A Policy

To begin with, make sure that your company has a comprehensively structured attendance policy. This policy shouldn’t just contain information about the number of leaves allowed per person, but it should also spell out the consequences of needless absenteeism. Craft a detailed reporting procedure which the employees have to follow in case they intend to skip work and put it in writing. This would ensure that your employees do not take casual absences lightly.

2. Keep Data Handy

Gathering information about the specific dates and times on which employees have been late or absent, would go a long way in helping you address the issue. Have a dialogue with each one of your employees and tell them that their absence has been noticed. A casual conversation with a first-time offender might work. However, when it comes to repeat offenders, their absenteeism would need to be formally recorded. In both cases, keeping data handy would equip you to broach the subject with credence.

3. Discuss With Concern

An open-hearted discussion has long been employed as a tool for sorting many attendance issues. Provide your employees with a comfortable space, wherein they can hold a candid discussion with you. Begin the conversation by listening to their grievances and offering practical solutions. Tell the employees that although you are displeased with their absentee behaviour, you are more concerned about their well-being. Doing so would enable them to speak with you without any inhibitions.

4. Make suitable accommodations

The appropriate management of human resource requires a thorough understanding of the individual circumstance. For example, some employees might be running late because they have to drop their children off to school, while some others might not show up because of a lack of proper transport arrangements. In each one of these cases, making small accommodations can help rectify absenteeism. Draft a flexible shift schedule that considers employee convenience without hampering your business needs.

5. Identify Stress Triggers

Personal or professional stress can often lead to excessive absenteeism. This is why it is important to identify and ameliorate stress triggers in time. In order to do this, you would need to create a work environment that is open, healthy and interactive. Organize activities which can develop and strengthen an interpersonal relationship between employees and employers. Find ways to hold their interest while keeping them motivated. This would give your employees a chance to unwind and thereby, combat various forms of stress.

6. Give Hourly Leaves

Counting the total numbers of leaves availed, in terms of hours instead of days, has the potential of lending your organization, a better employee perspective. For instance, if an employee has an appointment with a doctor, it wouldn’t make sense for him to request a 24-hour leave. He can simply take off for an hour and report back on time! Therefore, by giving out hourly leaves, you can greatly improve employee entitlements and ensure that their needs remain aligned with the goals of your business.

Also read: 5 tips to retain your best employees

7. Begin Counseling

There might be occasions when none of your interventions would seem to work. Despite the best of your efforts, employee absenteeism would persist. In such a time, it would be wise to refer the errant employees to a formal counselling session. This counselling could either come from an HR representative, or it could be provided by the employee’s immediate superior. Nonetheless, make sure that you lay out all your attendance expectations clearly and ask the counsellor to prevent unexcused absences.

8. Seek Professional Help

Last but not least, seeking professional help would prove to be a good final resort. Consulting advisers who have had years of experience in dealing with employee attendance issues would equip you to handle exigent situations in a delicate manner. More so, these professionals would also be able to suggest business-specific and innovative measures which can ensure compliance, save time and reduce overall employee absenteeism.

If your organization has consistently been bogged down due to employee attendance issues, online platforms like Kredily can come to your rescue. Our automated leave management system allows you to keep track of your employees without making them feel bound by too many rules.

How to handle an employee's attendance problemsWith Kredily, everyone wins.

You can set work hours amidst other employee attendance rules. They can punch in and out as they come and go. When your attendance management system records too many anomalies, you can have a conversation with them with all data at your disposal. Isn’t that the easiest solution?

How would you tackle employee absenteeism in your startup? Have you come across any of the above scenarios before? Anything you would have done differently? Would love to hear from you in the comments section below.

How to handle an employee's attendance problems

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They call off last-minute.

They always seem to suffer from a mysterious “illness” the day after a holiday.

And their chronic attendance problems are driving you nuts.

Frequent absences negatively impact your team’s productivity, efficiency and morale. Regardless of the size of your organization, responsible employees become annoyed when they have to repeatedly “pick up the slack” for unreliable, inconsiderate workers.

As an employer, it’s important for you to give your team time away from work when they really need it. But if employees are taking advantage of your good nature, it may be time to address time and attendance issues head-on. Here are a few practical tips from our Nashville staffing agency to get you started:

Create a written policy.

If it doesn’t already, update your employee handbook so that it includes clear time and attendance policy verbiage. At a minimum, your policy should include:

  • An overview of allowed vacation time, personal and/or sick time, paid/unpaid leave, etc., in accordance with laws like the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA).
  • Guidelines and timelines for requesting time off.
  • Consequences and protocols for addressing non-compliance. Explain in plain language how first-time and repeat policy violations will be handled.

Communicate clearly.

To be effective, your time and attendance policy must be clearly and frequently explained to your entire team. Be sure to review the policy with each new hire, and send periodic reminders to all employees in emails, meetings, your company newsletter and even check stub memos. By repeating your message, you eliminate the “I wasn’t aware of our policy” excuse.

Document issues.

Record each employee’s absences in an attendance write up to see if any noticeable trends become apparent. Create charts or graphs to help identify patterns of lateness and/or absence. If you notice that an employee regularly calls off on the same days of the week or in conjunction with holidays, determine how long the behavior has been occurring. This will provide the supporting evidence you need when you approach the employee.

Address problems directly.

The best time to talk about an employee attendance issues is when you first notice it. Schedule time for a private meeting with the offender and let him know what you plan to discuss. During the meeting:

  • Share the evidence of his chronic lateness/absence.
  • Explain the effects his poor reliability has on his team and the entire organization.
  • Find out if there is a reasonable explanation for the behavior. There might be! For example, an employee might be chronically late because he has to regularly transport a sick or disabled relative to a medical facility for treatment. If his reason is one protected by FMLA or the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), evaluate your options for accommodating his scheduling needs.
  • Move toward resolution. If his reason for time/attendance problems is notjustified or protected, explain the consequences (refer to the policy in your employee handbook). Clearly explain how he must change his behavior and when you will meet again to review his progress and compliance.
  • Be sure he understands the consequences. Write up what you discussed in the meeting, and then require the employee to provide written acknowledgement.

Accentuate the positive.

If a chronically late employee starts consistently arriving on time, acknowledge it! Make sure you tell the individual how much you appreciate the effort, and explain the positive impact his improved attendance has on the entire organization.

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Trust our Lebanon staffing agency to deliver dependable, hard-working people who hit the ground running. As their employer of record, Wood Personnel is responsible for addressing time and attendance issues with temporary employees – which means fewer headaches for you!

Approaching an Employee Attendance Management Conversation, What Can I say?

Attendance management seems to have become a more complicated issue these days as a more flexible and contingent workplace smashes up against an employer’s ability to manage the presence of their employees and the increase in employee absenteeism. How does an organization enforce an employee attendance policy when workforces are comprised of part-time, contract, temporary and flex employees who work different hours and have different expectations? Add into this situation legislated leaves and the requirement for accommodation for disability and family situation and there are a lot of layers to consider.

Yet, it does remain that an organization has the right to expect employees will perform their duties as agreed to including being available when and where expected.

Three Steps to Lay the Ground Work for Attendance Management Conversations

1) Agreements and Expectations

Begin with the creation of attendance management policies and an employment agreement that both parties agree to.

2) Record Keeping

The task of gathering and maintaining attendance records for all employees is required. This allows an organization to both define a standard expectation and track the attendance of employees for purposes of attendance management.

3) Communication

Communication on attendance expectations begins upon hire and continues on a regular basis. It is important that an employee first knows the expectations and then knows when he/she is headed off the expected path.

A key part of communication involves gathering information from an employee so the organization is aware of any problems including disability, family situation or other potential issues.

The 4 th Step – Begin to Address the Issue

4) Change Management

If the first 3 elements have been well managed and an attendance problem has occurred then the purpose of attendance management should be to facilitate change. This change can include changing the working conditions if appropriate and feasible (changing the employees hours for example) or asking the employee to change behaviours.

Within your attendance management policy the steps for addressing excessive or culpable absences in the workplace should involve a series of conversations with the employee, often divided into informal and formal meetings. Below are some suggestions for what to say in these meetings

  • Informal meeting: Expression of interest and desire to be of assistance.

“Joe, it has come to our attention that your attendance at work is not what we expected. You have been late on numerous occasions and missed 3 days of work in the past 4 weeks. Is there anything in which we can help you with?’

If Joe says that everything is fine, he just had a few additional challenges this month you should probe further.

“Are these challenges tied to anything that may reoccur in the near future?”

By asking about the future you are focused on what can be changed not what has already passed. Based on what the employee responds can ask another follow-up question. “Can we provide you with any assistance or accommodation now that will help you reduce or better manage the situation if it arises again?’

If the employee does not indicate any need for accommodation you can close by reiterating the importance of future work attendance. ‘If you have your situation managed that is good to hear. Let me close by clarifying our expectations and process related to attendance to make sure we all understand the same information. . . .’

This is your opportunity to review your expectations for the employee’s attendance for the future.

  • First Formal Meeting: If an employee’s attendance continues to be of concern a formal meeting should be requested. This may or may not be a component of a formal progressive disciplinary process.

“Several weeks ago we talked informally about your attendance at work as you had missed several days and been late on numerous occasions. Here is a letter with information about your absences [you do not need to review the details of the document, simply provide it].

‘When we talked last time you indicated there was no particular cause for your attendance issues and that you did not believe they would continue. Unfortunately we have noticed that your attendance continues to be a challenge. Is there anything you would like to share with us regarding your ongoing absences from work?’

If the employee indicates there is an explanation that requires accommodation you can agree to discuss this further and explore what accommodation is available and appropriate.

If your employee indicates there are no extenuating circumstances or if the circumstances do not involve illness, injury or other non-culpable reason then you can review the situation, the employee’s options and your expectations in more detail. Wrap up by asking your employee if he/she can agree to changes to help improve the situation.

‘We value our ability to work with our employees to address situations that can impact performance at work. Can we work together to make some changes so you can continue to make a contribution to the organization?

“I would like to hear your ideas for changes that will help you meet our expectations and thought we could discuss some of mine. . . ’

‘Thank you for agreeing to work with me on this item. I would like to propose the following next steps in the process . . . ‘

Most employees want to make it work, but often don’t know how and if they are backed into a corner react. By approaching the situation and the conversations well you can create an opportunity for change.

Sheryl Ferguson / Human Resources Administrator / PEO Canada

Excerpts from HR Insider article written July 17, 2015.

PEO is one of the foremost HR outsource, employee administration companies in Canada. Put our extensive experience in the human resources industry and corporate cultures to work for your organization.

Employee attendance directly affects staff performance. It may seem out of your control, but there are plenty of ways to work around it. Here are a few tips on how to improve employee attendance.

How to Improve Employee Attendance

Looking for ways on how to improve employee attendance? Be sure to track your employee’s leave, set expectations, boost morale and employee engagement and more.

Track Leave

As a manager, relying on hunches isn’t a brilliant move. Moreover, employees want fair treatment. When tracking employee absences, you can use HR software, attendance management system or come up with a basic spreadsheet. Tracking absences is unlikely to improve attendance but it’s a great starting point when combined with other methods and changes.

Set Expectations

Your workplace culture will determine the extent to which absences are “accepted.” No manager wants their staff to be absent but companies have different expectations around employee attendance. There’s no cookie-cutter approach – what’s important is that employees understand what they’re expected to do when they’re going to be absent.

Expectations are created through management and company culture as well as through documents such as employee handbooks. The trick is to set out expectations for attendance and outline the disciplinary process.

Boost Morale and Employee Engagement

Lower morale can lead to a vicious circle with higher absenteeism levels. You can start boosting workplace morale by making a few small changes such as:

  • Recognizing achievements
  • Trusting your employees
  • Moving towards a more open office culture
  • Listening to employees more.

Reduce Sick Leave

This doesn’t mean you should force employees to come to work while sick. Instead, you can help employees to lessen the impact or prevent some illnesses or health problems from occurring in the first place.

For instance, employers can invest in ergonomic furniture to reduce back pain and associated conditions. Taking such steps will indirectly cut sick leave. Be sure to discuss such plans with staff to find out which options they think will be most effective.

Communicate

It’s crucial that communication about absence takes place during and after every period of absence. Supervisors need to be empathetic and make efforts to understand the situation. For instance, supervisors should check up on absent employees after a couple of days to see how they’re faring.

If an employee is absent for an extended period, managers should hold a return to work interview for the following reasons:

  • Update them on announcements, new hires and company news.
  • Explain who’s been covering their workload.
  • Check whether the employee is well enough to work.
  • Discuss how their absence was managed and steps that will be taken if similar circumstances occur again.

Train Supervisors

Absence policies and initiatives will only be effective if supervisors are aware of them, support them and adopt them. As such, consider training your supervisors on all matters attendance. Start with the basics and narrow down to the specifics.

Final Thoughts

Before trying to tackle any absence problems, start by trying to understand the root cause. Keeping track of hours and leave will go a long way in helping you to come up with policies and initiatives that will help to reduce employee absence. These tips on how to improve employee attendance can help you to reduce absence rates significantly.

It’s a fact that if you have a job, you need to be in the office to complete your work. Generally speaking, if you are hired by a company and are an employee for them, you need to be in the office every day. A big part of being a professional is being a worker an employer can trust.

No matter what your job is, we all need days away from work once in a while. However, some people seem to have a relative that dies every couple of weeks.

Whether your employee likes it or not, their coworkers count on them to be there to do their work every day. If they are not reliable and miss countless days of work, then it’s likely that their coworkers, or you, will have to pick up the slack. This can cause resentment and anger.

The Culture of Absenteeism

There are all sorts excuses and reasons why employees miss a day of work. The real issue is when they start misusing sick leaves and take too much time off. If this is something your employee is doing, it should be addressed right away.

Their reasons for being out frequently don’t matter. What matters is the fact that they are not reliably at work.

Spotty attendance might signal any of a range of issues, from a problem at home to job dissatisfaction. Talk with your employee privately to find out if they have encountered a difficult personal problem, such as a relationship breakup or an ill family member, but be careful not to cross the line of professionalism.

If your discussion reveals dissatisfaction with their job, perhaps the employee needs to consider adjusting their attitude, or if the job is a good fit for them. You may have to remind them that chronic and unexplained absences will be treated according to your company’s attendance disciplinary policy.

It’s difficult deciding whose excuses are legitimate and whose aren’t, but, it is your job is to ensure that you have a reliably present workforce and right now, you have a problem child and their behavior could become contagious.

What to Do?

Work with the affected teams and managers to come up with back-up plans or alternatives while the absenteeism issue is being resolved. As soon as you can, tell the absentee that they have been missing work too often and you need to be able to count on them to be present. While you certainly understand that things come up from time to time, the frequency of these unplanned absences is too high. Mention, going forward, “I need you to be here reliably, every day, except in the most extreme of circumstances”. Ask them to commit to doing that.

From there, stick to it. If they continue to have unplanned absences at a rate that you find unacceptable, you need to enforce consequences. However, if this is a long-term employee whose work has always been good and this is a recent problem, you should express concern and ask what’s going on, and try to solve the problem.

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This article is adapted from What to do about MIA employee? by Dave Conrad

How to handle an employee's attendance problems

Life happens. As cliché as it is to say, we all have that morning where nothing goes right and we’re late to work. While it’s okay to be late in an emergency or call in sick to work, it’s important for employees not to let bad habits build and affect their work.

Employers need to know they can rely on their employees to be to work on time and to communicate with their team if they aren’t able to make it in for their shift. Here are a few ways to deal with employee attendance issues in your business.

Have a clear attendance policy

Every business should have an attendance policy that the employees and supervisors can agree to and reference. It’s essential to set clear expectations for timeliness and attendance. An attendance policy will help lay out the ground rules for tardiness and other attendance matters and explain the procedures for disciplinary actions. Making the attendance policy easily accessible also helps employees navigate tricky schedules, such as flexible working time or shifts outside the standard nine to five jobs.

Identify the key causes of absenteeism

To solve a problem, you first have to identify its cause. The most direct route is to ask employees why they are often late or why they take so many sick days. If you can identify patterns in an employee’s behavior, you can then talk openly about the situation and work together to find a solution.

For example, suppose an employee is often late on Tuesdays and they explain that it is because they need to drop their kids off at school. In that case, the solution might be adjusting that employee’s work hours to accommodate their needs while still completing their work throughout the week.

Follow through on consequences

While it’s easy to create an attendance policy and identify absenteeism, it’s not always as easy to enforce the rules. For employees to see that the policy should be taken seriously, it’s important to follow through on disciplinary action. There may be exceptions, but most cases of excessive tardiness or absences should be addressed with warnings, probation, and ultimately termination if they do not change their behavior.

At the same time, rewarding employees and teams who are consistently on time and present throughout the workweek is a great way to show how much you value their time and work. A simple word of thanks or even lunch on the company’s dime can go a long way in motivating employees to show up for shifts on time.

Monitor Attendance

Keeping a close eye on attendance can make a world of difference for a business. Checking attendance reports monthly or weekly can help companies identify employees who may often be late or not show up for work and take corrective action before things get too far.

Chronotek prevents attendance issues from becoming a problem

Identifying attendance patterns takes time that many supervisors don’t have to spare. Chronotek makes it easy for supervisors to stay on top of tardy or no-show employees and track attendance at a glance.

With supervisor alerts, Chronotek sends a notification when an employee has not clocked in for a scheduled shift. This allows your business to get the shift covered and make a note to review that employee’s attendance records. A variety of reports make it quick and easy to find patterns of absenteeism. With the ability to clock in and out from anywhere with any device, employees and supervisors can communicate throughout the day and stay on top of schedules.