Encourage and Improve Employee Attendance

Posted by Andrew on September 3, 2018

shutterstock_252811903 - CopyEvery business needs their employees to come to work on time; however, customer-centric jobs tend to suffer the most in the short term. While missing employees will affect productivity for all companies down the line, businesses that work face-to-face with customers on a daily basis feel the pinch right away. When employees start arriving late, leaving early, or not arriving at all, employers will have a variety of staff-wide problems on their hands. Poor attendance torpedoes morale, forces other employees to work overtime, reduces engagement, and hinders productivity.

5 Ways to Foster Better Attendance

Customer support jobs aren’t the only professions that feel immediate effects due to absenteeism. Teachers, healthcare providers, and technical support jobs all have workstations that are painfully obvious when vacant. Companies that rely on collaboration between departments also experience the effects when a major project can’t move forward. Regardless of work environment, all businesses need to keep absences under control. Several ways to achieve this include:

  1. Create and implement rules in a uniform manner. Every employee, regardless of position, needs to receive a copy of the company handbook with clear details about leave policies during orientation. When employees know paid time off (PTO), sick leave, and vacation leave are the same for everyone, it has a positive effect on their sense of fairness. Whether an employee works in the warehouse, the front office, or the executive suite, attendance policies should apply across the board.
  2. Manage absences by underscoring employee importance. Some absences are legitimate—employees fall ill, experience injuries, and any number of protected kinds of absences can occur. However, unscheduled absences stress out the rest of the staff, which can lead to more absences over time. When an employee calls out, their supervisor should have a conversation with that employee letting them know the staff and managers will miss them and they hope for a rapid and full recovery. When the employee returns, their supervisor should welcome them back in person and underscore the employee’s importance. When employees feel like an essential part of the team, they are less likely to call out for dubious reasons.
  3. Be flexible whenever possible. Flextime and working from home have gained in popularity for good reason. Parents dropping off children at school or picking them up from childcare can’t always work a traditional 9-5. For example, allowing them to shift their day to work 7-3 can allow their spouses or partners to drop children off at school while they pick them up afterward. This cuts down on the need for childcare and reduces stress over finances. While an employee’s personal life isn’t the supervisor’s job to manage, their personal stress can affect their attendance and performance.
  4. Reward employees for good attendance. Some employers balk at the idea of paying their employees extra for showing up on time to do their job. However, all employees like to feel appreciated. Recognizing stellar attendance make employees feel valued and thereby improves their loyalty. Reward programs can be as simple as free movie tickets or as grand as earning an extra vacation day for every month of perfect attendance.

Too many attendance policies are consequence-driven. While there need to be penalties for absenteeism, focusing on the positive is much more likely to yield the attendance results an employer wants. If your company is struggling with absenteeism, Actec can help. Contact us to learn more about how our absence reporting program can improve attendance.