If employees are absent on a regular and unpredictable basis, or their timekeeping from day to day is generally lackluster, it’s bad news for your business.
Rather than tearing your hair out and feeling powerless to change this state of affairs, there are some tips, tools and tactics which can help with employee attendance issues and bring your workforce back on the right track. Here are just a few ways to achieve this easily and affordably.
Document your attendance policy clearly & unambiguously
Every business needs to have a written policy on employee attendance which is easily available to all, and which lays out expectations, requirements and best practices in a clear and unambiguous manner.
This is not just about ensuring that employees know the standards for attendance to which they must adhere, but also about giving them no excuses if they fall short of them.
It’s easy for a team member to claim that the reason for their erratic attendance is not being aware of the rules if there’s no document that details them in full. If you do have a written policy, on the other hand, they won’t have a leg to stand on.
Make managing vacations simple
Sometimes attendance issues come about not because of deliberate employee negligence, but because of confusion, crossed wires or inefficiencies in how vacation time is issued and overseen.
For example, if a team member is away for a legitimate reason but this isn’t communicated to others, this could cause disruption to important projects.
Training employees in tasks like how to add vacation to Outlook, and also providing them with the tools they need to share requests for time off with managers and update others on their status will solve this conundrum.
Not everyone is equipped for the standard nine to five working day, and the rise of flexible working as a concept in recent years is testament to this fact.
It could be that people prefer working early in the morning or late in the evening. It could be that they have family commitments which keep them from reaching the office on time, or force them to leave early.
Whatever the case, if your company setup allows it, enabling increased flexibility in working hours, and even embracing things like remote working, will empower employees and also ensure that attendance levels are kept in line with your policy.
Some absences are unavoidable, but it’s better to know that an employee is going to be off in advance, rather than being sideswiped by this information one morning when they don’t show up.
The best way to avoid being left in the dark is to be a good communicator, and an approachable manager. If employees know that they can come to you if they are facing personal issues that might disrupt their ability to attend work, then you can accommodate this more successfully.
Effective communication is as much about listening as it is about expressing yourself clearly, so practice active listening. Also don’t just wait for employees to come to you with problems, but reach out to them regularly to get a sense of where they are at.
Employees will need personal days, sick days, vacation days and other types of time off over the course of their time with your company.
Since you cannot fight this, you have to embrace it, or else your absenteeism issues will only get worse, and will prove a frustration both to yourself and to your team members. A good approach to attendance will improve loyalty and retention rates, while boosting satisfaction and morale as well.