Stopping Employee Attendance Problems From Becoming a Big Issue
Communication is the Key to Combat Employee Attendance Problems
When you are managing a business one of the issues that has to be dealt with is employee attendance. The smooth operation of your business relies on each member of the team doing their job consistently to the best of their ability. If a person is chronically absent, arriving late, leaving early or just calling out all together, the issue needs to be addressed.
It is important that a manager be able to show compassion in their actions towards employees but also hold them accountable for their actions. The worst results can happen when the situation is not handled consistently and you don’t have any consistent rules and consequences. All protocols should be created and used in the best interest of the business.
Listen to Discover the Issue
One of the first steps a manager needs to take is to find out what issue the employee is facing. It could be something out of their control, like a childcare issue. Or there could be a child behavioral issue in the morning. On a more serious note, the employee might be struggling with a substance abuse issue that is causing their chronic absenteeism. If that is the case, a manager could help an employee get into a recovery or rehabilitation program that allows valuable workers to regain their form and contribute to the company.
It could also be a physical illness that is causing them to miss work. They might have been afraid to mention it to those at work or are just a private person. There are also going to be those who are not very motivated and have a difficult time showing up anywhere on time. A good manager needs to learn all of the facts so that they can react and respond in an appropriate manner.
Develop a Supportive System
Developing a system for good communication between employees and management can help find a solution to most issues. If there is a childcare issue, once a manager is aware they can help find a better solution that allows the employee to get to work more consistently. If there is an issue that involves an illness or substance abuse issue, perhaps time off can be arranged in order for the health of the employee to be better addressed.
Sometimes a break from the stresses of the job can be just what is needed in order to regain their physical health. Building appropriate work relationships with employees will allow the lines of communication to stay open and requirements of the job can be addressed in a nonthreatening and even helpful manner. That positive communication will benefit the work environment as well as the employee. When people feel that they are valued at work, it creates a more productive atmosphere.
When Action Must be Taken
Even when all communication efforts have been made sometimes the attendance issues can become so bad that action needs to be taken. In life and in business there are consequences for the actions that we take. All employees need to be held accountable in a firm, fair and consistent manner. That means that the penalties for chronic tardiness and other behavioral infractions need to be clearly stated for all to see.
Most good discipline programs involve a three strike policy that is straight forward and easy to understand. The first stage is a verbal warning that is documented and filed in their record. The second stage is a written warning, where the employee gets a written confirmation of the time missed and is clearly told what will happen if the absenteeism continues. The third stage is termination.
It is very important that a manager keeps written documentation of the process so that the rights of the employee and the rights of the company are all protected. It is never easy to terminate an employee but sometimes it is the right thing to do for all parties involved. Depending on the company that you are working for, the staff member may have a right to legal representation, from a trade union. Their representative should be informed of the issue and involved from the beginning so that they are able to help bring the best result. That is to reduce absenteeism at work and allow a company to run at its highest capacity.
The key to good communication is that all parties feel like they have a chance to contribute to the conversation. When an employee knows they are being listened to and there is open communication throughout the process, then they will buy into the result. As long as actions are taken with complete honesty, then most often a mutually beneficial result can be arrived at.
Credit for this small business article goes to NECHES FCU, Port Neches, TX.
Neches FCU is a leading Texas credit union and has an awesome team of professionals ready to service all members. When the doors open at any of the 9 service outlets, the mission of “Ultimate Member Satisfaction” becomes the driving force for every employee. They are known for a personal, dynamic and fast-paced work atmosphere, delivering a memorable service experience, and where all members are known by their name.