Curing Employee Absence for Good
Jobs in all industries require employees to arrive on time to work. Employees arriving late force management to fill your spot with employees that were on time. The employees work harder in a co-worker’s absence. Morale is down due to employees doing their job and the absent person. As a result, current employees quit, which stresses out management more. For managers, overtime expenses rise due to employees staying late doing two jobs instead of one. This stress forces the company’s hand, leaving them no choice but to take disciplinary action toward the late/absent employee ranging from strikes to termination. Overall, absence hurts the bottom line.
Fortunately, employee attendance is a solvable issue. Simply manage attendance and encourage the absent person to attend.
Leave a Paper Trail
Manage attendance by tracking the hours taken off from work and the time they arrive. Use software to keep track of attendance. Encourage employees to call the supervisor responsible for attendance tracking to inform them about the unscheduled absence. Employees should state the reason for the absence as well. In return, the supervisor should inform the employee the impact their absence will have on the company.
Welcome them back to work whenever their situation has improved. During the conversation, do not force the employee to feel sorry about their absence or play the blame game. The supervisor will pencil in the employee missing work into the software. Print out a weekly hard copy as a backup precaution. Ensure everyone follows the rules. Show no favoritism or give political favors.
Give Positive Encouragement
Along with the phone conversation, positive encouragement about the situation is welcome. Most employees have a legitimate reason for leaving work, so inform them that it’s all right. Showing selfishness and anger toward the employee for taking time off pushes the employee away from the job. The employees may not quit, but their trust and love for the job will wane. Furthermore, positive comments like ‘good job,’ ‘thank you,’ and ‘excellent’ work toward appreciation and respect so many employees crave.
Go a step further in positive encouragement with incentive. Rewards and recognition show employees they are not a number; they are part of a team. An employee of the month, awards, time off, passing out gift cards bring customers close to their job. Include incentives in the attendance tracking system as a point system. Inform employees the point system will lead to the chosen incentive after a selected time (week, month, year, etc). That encourages employees to attend work. Stick with punishing people who don’t attend work, but reward employees who do.
There are legitimate reasons employees require additional time away from the workplace. Consequently, employees use the time off for frivolous reasons. Companies cannot let unjustified reasons slide. Without upsetting the employee, talk to them about their absence. The problem companies’ face is approaching them after a day. Give them time to miss many days before approaching them (one week, two weeks, etc.). You’ll have legitimate reasons to back up your claims. Allow the employee to respond, and determine if the situation is fixable. Work out a compromise if possible.
Employees have a life outside of work, so show flexibility in your schedule for common cases. Sick children, being sick, school issues, doctor’s appointment, and snow/ice issues are examples of common reason for absent employees. Be flexible. Schedules should adjust for the employee so employees can successfully juggle work and family life. Examples include working nights one day and days the next, working from home, sharing jobs, and telecommuting.
Keep in Communication
In the end, retention rate is about communication. Have an open door policy. Managers are the bosses, but effective managers are approachable, not distant. Too tough equals cold-heartedness. Too lenient equals pushover. Find the balance. Be sure to follow up on an employee’s issue to ensure its resolved. Learn from previous absentees and incorporate problematic issues in interviews to avoid future retention problems. The workplace is a team effort with no ‘I’ in team.
Unfortunately, some employees just won’t listen regardless of effort. In that case, cutting ties is the reasonable solution. Hire someone new and encourage the new hire to become loyal, reliable, and trustworthy. For the remaining employees, work with them and focus on keeping them around long-term. Continue to carefully track absentees to maintain retention.
Article provided by Neches FCU, an Equal Employment Opportunity Employer.
Neches FCU is one of the top Texas credit unions and has an attentive team of professionals ready to serve our members. When its doors open at any of the nine service centers, the aim of “Ultimate Member Satisfaction” becomes the sole focus for every staff member. They are well-respected for a personal, dynamic and positive work environment, delivering a memorable service experience, and where all clients are known personally. Neches has about $438 Million in assets with over 45,000 members. Neches FCU is considered by members and the business community as one of the best credit unions in Texas and an actively involved partner, helping our Family, Friends and Community!