To a certain degree, absenteeism is expected from time to time in the workplace. Humans aren’t robots, and sometimes can become sick or have to deal with a variety of issues that can prevent them from coming to work. However, chronic absenteeism is an issue that employers must address, as it can seriously impact productivity, especially when multiple employees are exploiting the rules.
The majority of employers offer their workers a specific number of vacation or sick days per year, but there are times when employees may take off more days than this. When this happens, the way in which you choose to respond can impact your bottom line. Below are some helpful tips for responding to absenteeism.
Reward Those With Stellar Attendance
It is safe to say that most, if not all employers punish their employees for chronic absenteeism, up to and including termination. However, do you offer rewards for those that show up on time, and are rarely if ever absent? While some employers may feel that the employee having a job is incentive enough, offering some small but meaningful rewards can be the motivation to get everyone showing up on time and sticking to their schedule.
Make Sure Your Attendance Policies Are Clear And Enforceable
It is important to be clear about your attendance policies. If employees are not clear about what you expect, they will naturally want to do their own thing. Your attendance guidelines must be concise and you must enforce them. As your business becomes larger you may find it necessary to implement automated time tracking systems so you can determine who arrives to work and when. As your company increases from dozens of employees to hundreds trying to manually determine attendance will be extremely challenging.
There has to be unpleasant consequences for those employees that choose to thwart your rules. Many employees implement a three strike system where an employee is fired after their third offense, but another way to get your point across is by docking the worker’s pay for every twenty minutes they are late. There may be rules in your city or state that prohibit this, so do your research accordingly.
Provide Your Employees With Flexible Scheduling
Many employers have a one size fits all approach when it comes to establishing work schedules for their employees. While this is understandable, employees differ in their circumstances. Some have children to care for, others are in school and still other employees may have second jobs or other things that restrict the times in which they can work. By providing flexible scheduling, each employee can work at a time which is best suited to their lifestyle and circumstances. Not only will this reduce their absenteeism, but it can also make them more productive.
This flexible scheduling system has been found to bring great benefits to companies that have tried it. Overall, the best way to approach absenteeism is with a carrots and sticks approach. Rewarding great attendance while punishing excessive absenteeism is your best bet.