Absenteeism, tardiness, long lunches, and leaving early are all attendance issues that affect a company’s bottom line. However, problems with attendance don’t always rest solely on employees. There are several mistakes management can make that confuse employees or muddy the waters in regards to what’s expected of them. The following are several common mistakes that perpetuate absenteeism:
- Missing or incomplete policy. Many employers outline vacation leave, sick leave, and federally protected absences in their company handbook. However, some neglect to discuss an actual attendance policy. Taking the time to do so can mitigate confusion regarding attendance. For example, employees who leave early every day because they neglect to take their lunch break can disrupt the workflow if other employees need to discuss a project with them.
- Poor enforcement. If management neglects to fully enforce an attendance policy, employees will abuse it. It can also hurt employee morale if one employee is late on a regular basis and management does nothing to address it. It can lead to accusations of favoritism or encourage other employees to do the same. Management needs to enforce all aspects of their attendance policy even if it means having uncomfortable conversations.
- Failing to distinguish between types of absences. Some absences are unavoidable. For example, employees fall ill or may need to care for family members. However, other absences are fraudulent and can speak to a larger issue. Employers need to take the time to learn the root cause of employee absences to stay ahead of any potential attendance issues.
- Not requiring doctor’s notes. Requiring a doctor’s note for absences can cut down on the number of false requests for time off due to illness. Some employers choose not to do so for short-term illnesses, but it’s worthwhile for long-term absences, especially if the absences could fall under federally protected leave such as family medical leave or disability.
- Not accommodating returning employees. When an employee returns to work after an extended illness or injury, employers should consider accommodations to ensure his or her success. These adjustments can prevent a relapse and make employees feel more secure about returning to work.
- Not keeping track of attendance. Even if employers have attendance policies, they can’t possibly know how effective they are without tracking absences. Implementing an absence reporting program can help management identify trends and address burgeoning issues before they become chronic problems.
If your company is struggling with absenteeism or attendance issues, Actec can help. Contact us to discuss our absence management solutions.