How to Deal with Employee Absenteeism & Tardiness

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Managing employees is one of the greatest challenges in any business. Dealing with attendance and tardiness ranks as one of the highest management issues. According to Jean Mercer, Director of Employee Relations at LSG Sky Chefs, respect, fairness and training are among the most important issues to employees. Attendance and tardiness problems cut to the heart of a team's efforts to meet an objective. A company must have a fair policy that is equally applied. As Mercer continues, "Favoritism causes more harm than good regardless of its value." And the inconsistent application of policies is a virtual invitation for a discrimination charge.

Things You'll Need

  • Company policy regarding attendance
  • Employee records
  • Review the company attendance policy and make sure it is distributed to all employees. Review the employees' attendance records and make a list of each one who has exceeded the allowable missed work days or number of days tardy. If these records are incomplete, correct the deficiencies and skip step two until that task is complete.

  • For each person on your list, prepare a document that illustrates how he or she has exceeded company policy and what will happen if the pattern is continued. Meet privately with each, present the document and explain why the employee is out of compliance and why you have specified the consequences indicated. All people in the meeting should sign the record to indicate that they were present.

  • Conduct a meeting of all staff to explain the attendance policy as a routine matter. Make sure that each person attending the meeting has a copy and also post one as well as the minutes of the meeting in a common area where all employees will have access. Focus on the concept that poor attendance is a sign of disrespect for coworkers and has a negative effect on customers and ultimately company profits and available jobs.

Tips & Warnings

  • Accurate attendance records can be illuminating.
  • Do not confront an employee when you are angry.
  • Be consistent and fair.
  • Check your ego at the door.
  • Complex policies are difficult to enforce.
  • Inconsistent enforcement of rules opens the company to both civil and regulatory claims.
  • Impossible, inflexible rules are difficult to enforce.

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References

  • Jean E. Mercer; Director of Employee Relations; Dallas, Texas
  • Photo Credit sales manager checking the sales image by Peter Baxter from Fotolia.com
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