Enforcing Your Employee Absenteeism Policy

Do you struggle with Absenteeism? Read how to start tackling this issue within your organization, without impacting your workforce negatively.

Having effective employee absenteeism, time, and attendance policies is vital to the success of any organization. One major component of a successful employee time & attendance policy is having clear guidelines. That way, employees understand how the company addresses issues like absenteeism.

Things happen, and there will be times where an employee cannot show up to work. Establish an acceptable level of absenteeism and communicate this information to your team. For example, you may allot a certain number of sick or family responsibility days. It’s also reasonable to request adequate notice. You can also set up consequences in case employees aren’t following the guildlines. Next, hold employees accountable in accordance with the guidelines you set.

To help your organization manage staff absenteeism follow Celayix’s five steps solution,

1. Start Tracking

It’s critical to accurately capture and track employee data. You should have systems in place that employees cannot dispute. It’s a waste of time and energy to argue with an employee over the data. Now, you can collect data via phone or the internet when an employee is absent and misses a shift. It can then be imported into your scheduling or time & attendance software for future retrieval.

2. Look for the Pattern

Typically, employees that are abusing absenteeism will have a pattern that will show through over time. Is the employee typically not available for scheduled shifts the day or after a long weekend? Do they miss a day after previously booked time-off, or when workflows within the organization increase? Finding a pattern to the employee’s absenteeism will help to build a case for discipline. It may also deter an employee who is abusing time-off due to illness.

3. Investigate With Care

When addressing employee time missed due to illness it’s important to collect the appropriate data before making any accusations. These meetings can be uncomfortable for some employers. They worry about being perceived as disciplinary and controlling, diminishing trust and respect between employee and manager.

Start off by taking a compassionate approach. See this meeting as a way for you to reach out to the employee; see if there is anything you can do to help them miss less scheduled work. You may be surprised with the information an employee will relay. More often than not, you will see a positive response and change you see in future behavior.

4. Set Goals

Employers often experience disappointment by expecting to correct the problem and see a change in the employee’s attendance instantly. In most instances it is advisable to follow a progressive disciplinary process, setting clear expectations and goals for the employee. Focus on communicating the consequences of future missed shifts. Also, highlight the negative effect their poor attendance is having on coworkers and the organization as a whole.

5. Document, Document, Document

Whatever steps you take be sure to document and store data appropriately. After a meeting with an employee, enter your meeting minutes into your workforce management software. Also, write a formal letter to the employee. Too often employers find themselves faced with a lawsuit from a disgruntled or terminated employee. Proper documentation is a key component to building a case and justifying your actions were fair and warranted.

Most important is consistency. Not being consistent with employees in this process will create a negative perception of the leadership team among your workforce. Be sure to have your management or supervisory team working together. This will expedite goals set to lower absenteeism among employees.

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