Attendance issues manifest themselves in every organization. How well you deal with them determines how healthy a work environment you can create for your organization. Attendance management can become complicated for HRs and managers especially in large organizations as tracking sick leaves, paid leaves, unauthorized leaves, over time, late comings can become a tedious affair. Additionally, employee absenteeism can have a big impact on your organization as whether the absence is planned, incidental or extended, it affects costs as well as productivity.
It is important to establish ground rules regarding attendance with your employees. It is also important to convey clearly the implications of not complying with the rules. However, tact and delicacy is involved in handling attendance issues keeping in mind the varying circumstances surrounding your employees. Here are a few straightforward steps that you can take for effective handling of attendance problems:
1. Have an attendance policy – Maintain in writing a set of attendance rules and HR policy for attendance. Convey to the new recruits at the time of joining your company’s attendance policy and make sure they understand them. You can convey the rules at orientation and can hand over the written policy in the employee handbook. Make sure the employee signs the policy to convey his acceptance and understanding of the same.
2. Share your opinion about attendance with your employees – Talk to your employees regarding your views on attendance. Set an example yourself by arriving a bit early, leaving a bit late, and avoiding sick–leaves.
3. Watch out for a trend – Watch out for employees who are often coming in late or reporting sick on Fridays or Mondays. It reflects their lack in effort to get ready in time or their desire to have a frequent extended weekend. This might become a trend with them if not checked. Begin with giving a gentle warning to the errant employee and watch out if they take heed. If they do not, then a stronger written warning is called for in writing or through an email or a personal meeting.
4. Address individual problem separately, collective problem in a team meeting – If you have one or two offenders for the same issue, you can hold brief one-on-one meetings with them. In individual problems, try to find out the reason behind chronic late coming or frequent sick leaves. Maybe the employee has a genuine problem to deal with which needs to be looked into separately. Try to reach the truth by asking for medical certificate for sick leaves or other evidence for any other given reason. If you face the problem with a bigger number of employees, it is good to have a team meeting with combined attendance goal for them.
5. Enforce the attendance rules uniformly – Make it clear that attendance rules apply to one and all. Do not use them selectively. Attendance rules should be uniformly applied to all without any favoritism or partiality. If the employees make out that there is favoritism or unequal application of rules, it may lead to chaos and indiscipline.
6. Make an allowance for personal business – To encourage honesty and upfront behavior, you can make an allowance for an employee’s personal work which can be done only during business hours. Again, this should largely depend upon the seriousness and gravity of the situation. However, make sure that this gesture is not taken advantage off.
7. Maintain accurate records – Use online attendance management software to keep accurate track of employee attendance and time. Online Attendance Software can also free up valuable time of human resources employees by weeding out the need to sort through time cards and calculate employees’ logged hours. Filing cabinets and numerous electronic spreadsheets can be avoided as attendance tracking software can store information about employee’s schedules, overtime and pay rates in same place and culling out data from it can just be a click away. In addition to traditional on premise attendance software, online attendance software allows you to share attendance information with other employees. Sharing attendance information with respective employees result in faster rectification of any errors or omissions and speed up payroll processing at month end.