Work doen't get done without employees. Yes, stuff happens, as the old saying goes, including illness and family crises, in everyone's life. But, as a manager, a pattern of absenteeism among employees is a major concern. Implement an absentee policy that encourages your employees to come to work and that is fair and clear. That will reduce employee backlash, while an unfair, heavy-handed policy can hurt worker productivity. And remember, if no-show employees are getting a pass, it will soon damage the morale and enthusiasm of your best worker bees.
Implement a clear and fair policy dealing with excused and unexcused absences. Include in the policy how and by when employees should notify you when they will be absent. Also, a certain number of total absences or a number within a certain time should trigger a meeting with you to get to the bottom of the cause. This can help you deal with nagging issues before they interfere with conducting business.
Deal with unusual circumstances on a case-by-case basis. For instance, you may want to help out an employee who is a single paretn with a sick child to telecommute for a short time.
Don't wimp out; fire workers after a certain number of unexcused absences as outlined in the policy. Enforce your absentee policy as written. To avoid future conflict, have everyone sign a copy of the absentee policy to ensure no one is in the dark. Everyone has circumstances come up, however, make it clear that laying out or not calling the office is unprofessional, and will not be tolerated.
Reward workers for attendance. However, you should also make busy bees take their allotted vacation. An overworked employee is less productive, more likely to get sick, and can easily become burnt out.
Provide frequent breaks during the day and provide a reduced-stress environment to take breaks. If everyone pulls their hair out at work, they will be less excited to come to work and more likely to call out.
Reward attendance on the first work day after a holiday, where workers are likely to over-indulge. This can be a small bonus, snacks, a meal or an at-work happy hour.
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