Do’s and Don’ts for Handling Employee Attendance

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Surrounding yourself with the appropriate staff is essential to building a successful business. At the same time, rushing through the staff hiring process may result in costly blunders.

Employees that do not show up for work can harm your business. However, handling employee attendance issues can be a challenge for any company. To achieve your goals, you must address these issues before they get out of hand.

Today’s post is designed to help you handle employee attendance and suggests what (not) to do when confronted with absenteeism. Keep reading to see how you can approach the attendance issue wisely.

What is absenteeism in the workplace?

Employee absenteeism occurs when employees have a habit of missing work, being consistently late, or frequently calling in late without explaining.

Everyone can be absent from work from time to time for personal or medical reasons. However, absenteeism becomes a problem when people fail to communicate about their absences or rely on the company’s tolerance to avoid completing their job.

An employee who calls in to explain that they will be late due to a flat tire is an example of an absence beyond control. But, if that employee repeatedly cancels their shifts at the last minute, their one-time problem has turned into a case of chronic absenteeism. That is the moment you should start handling employee attendance.

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How to handle employee attendance issues

To avoid problematic employee behavior and keep your business operating smoothly, you must treat employee absence fairly.

Here are some DO’S and DON’TS to follow when handling employee attendance:

DON’T rush into decisions about employee attendance

Never make assumptions about staff behavior without first looking into their side of things. If you act without understanding the full picture, you’ll wind up with confused and frustrated staff who won’t know what you expect from them.

Worse, you might be accused of unfairness, deteriorate your relationship with your employees, and end up in a dysfunctional workplace. As a result, study the issue of absenteeism and take action when you are confident that you understand the employee’s problem and have an appropriate solution. That way, you will inspire confidence and trust in your staff as they see you are making informed decisions.

DO stay flexible and offer alternatives

Lack of schedule flexibility was cited as one of the main reasons employees quit their jobs in 2021. If you want employees to come to work consistently, you need to provide them with ways to deal with life’s inevitable curve balls. Family, school, caregiving duties, health, and other responsibilities can all affect an employee’s availability.

Use things like shift swaps, bid shifts, and time off requests to make sure that shifts get covered while still allowing staff some flexibility in their work hours.

Also, if your remote employees do their job on time and at a high standard, don’t pressure them to stick to a strict 9-5 schedule. Instead, check your policies to see if they need updating and introduce more flexibility.

For instance, allow employees to deal with personal problems that take only a short time. Attending doctor’s visits, school activities, or childcare during work hours is acceptable if all parties agree and if the work gets done. Employees will be relieved to balance their work and personal lives, and you will undoubtedly be satisfied with their work. It’s a classic win-win situation.

DON’T overlook the importance of attendance policies

Your business’s attendance policy should clearly outline the expectations of management. By putting some rules in writing, you can prevent employees from making excuses and avoid punishment if they miss work.

For instance, when it comes to excessive absenteeism, many businesses now use the three-strikes approach. So if an employee fails to show up for work after being warned repeatedly, you can and should take action.

On the other hand, you should also notice workers who do their jobs well, arrive on time, and keep absence to a minimum.

For example, you can follow their performance using monthly reports and reward them for their good behavior. Cash bonuses, an employee of the month program, and additional paid time off for exemplary attendance are all excellent motivators. That way, you will also encourage other employees to improve their attendance.

DO encourage communication

As workplace flexibility becomes more widely accepted, effective communication becomes increasingly important. When handling employee attendance, you should encourage workers to notify you of their absences, no matter the reason.

Communication between managers and staff is essential not only for productivity but for gaining respect, loyalty, and trust. It is much better to have an employee who communicates their constraints than one who simply doesn’t show up.

Emotional vulnerability can help workers openly communicate with their supervisors about what is going on in their lives. If there are difficulties that employees are dealing with that might cause them to be late or absent, supervisors will know about it and try to help them.

a graphic that reads "communication" in the center

DON’T forget to give staff the time off they require

One of the quickest ways to destroy employee loyalty and morale is to schedule a staff member on a day they were promised off work. Make sure you have a good system in place for tracking time off requests so that nothing slips through the cracks.

Businesses that offer paid time off benefits may notice an increase in employee attendance and productivity. Also, employees will deal with their problems on their days off instead of resorting to unscheduled call-outs. That will make it much easier to manage and reschedule project deadlines and balance responsibilities across teams.

Handling employee attendance issues well takes practice

Poor employee attendance can harm multiple aspects of a business, especially when it comes to industries that rely on good customer service. However, by using some simple techniques, you can reduce absenteeism and make your business a happier and more productive place to work.

When handling employee attendance in your workplace, keep the above list of do’s and don’ts in mind. It will help you make the right decisions and keep your business running smoothly. The more you do it, the easier it will become.

TimeForge can improve many aspects of time and attendance tracking. To learn more, sign up for a personalized demo of our award-winning labor management software.

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