How to Deal with Attendance Issues at Work

Every year, American workers miss over half a billion days in work. The U.S. Census Bureau estimates this can cost companies up to $40 billion in lost productivity and profits. Those are ugly statistics that need to be managed to ensure absenteeism doesn’t hit your company hard, especially during the winter season.

So what can you do when you’re noticing a spike in attendance issues? Here are some tips from Stewart Staffing – one of Hartford County’s top human resources consulting firms – to help you:

Create a written attendance policy.

In your employee handbook, clearly lay out company expectations in terms of attendance. Make sure employees understand the consequences for dishonesty and if attendance and tardiness become an issue. Some companies have a “three strikes and you’re out” type policy. Others are more lenient. It’s up to you to decide what will work best for your organization.

Schedule time with a problem employee.

If you have a particular employee who can’t seem to show up on time or is always calling in, it’s time for a private sit down. Before the conversation, make sure you have a list of times and dates when their attendance has been an issue, with facts supporting your claim. This will demonstrate the seriousness of the situation.

Keep an open conversation.

Once you’ve presented your side, open the floor up to your employee. There could be a legitimate reason why attendance has become an issue. For instance, sudden and unexpected family obligations at home could be getting in the way of work demands. So make time to listen to what your employee has to say.

Make accommodations if needed.

If the person is a valued employee and are legitimately having problems at home that are interfering with work obligations, try to be flexible and make accommodations for them, albeit temporary. Perhaps they can come in later to work and stay later. Or maybe working from home one or two days a week is the answer. It’s up to both of you to decide the approach that will work best and get your employee through a difficult period.

Follow through on consequences.

If attendance issues continue, then you’ll have to take the next step with more formal measures. This can include a system of progressive discipline, such as a firm reminder first, then a written warning, and then if the behavior continues, another counseling session. It can also include termination if the situation doesn’t resolve.

Make sure you’re present.

Employees can take advantage if you’re not there. They can start showing up late or leaving early, thinking you won’t notice. That’s why it’s important to ensure that your presence on-site is consistent.

Need help dealing with these and other HR-related issues?

Call the team at Stewart Staffing. As one of Hartford County’s top human resources consulting firms, we can help you overcome your biggest staffing and HR headaches and hassles, all so you can focus on building a strong team that’s as productive as possible. Contact us today to learn more.

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