Since the invention of the time clock, employers have obsessed over their employees’ time and attendance. Why are employees late to work or absent?
- Personal duties outside of work, primarily childcare.
- Transportation issues such as heavy traffic or mass transportation delays.
- Physical issues, such as illness or injury.
- Rules resisters. Written policies are meant for others.
- Internal clock issues, often blamed on slow transportation but really a psychological or cultural issue.
Here’s what to do about it
- Develop a clear attendance policy, with your expectations.
- Establish set schedules, whether the employee is at work or working from home. Frequent changes are disruptive.
- Communicate the specific number of sick days, etc. employees are entitled to and the penalties for excessive absenteeism and lateness. Stick to it.
- Develop a culture of shared commitment. Start by holding everyone to the same standards. Criticizing some while ignoring the same behavior in others is a sure way to undermine your culture. Rules resisters may respond to peer pressure more than to formal policies.
- Promote a healthy workplace. Sponsor flu shots, encourage the use of hand sanitizer, and provide discounts to the local gym and daycare center.
- Consider flextime or work at home policies. Valuable employees do have personal lives to juggle – have some sensitivity within the structure outlined above.
Establishing clear expectations is the best place to start.
See our Services page for more on how we can help you.