Meeting business goals can become complicated if you cannot manage employee attendance at the company. Poor attendance eats up revenue, reduces productivity, and drains employees’ morale, who have to pick up the slack. If absenteeism has started affecting the company’s bottom line, you need an employee attendance improvement plan.
Every company needs an attendance improvement plan because, according to Reference.com, the average number of sick days per employee is 5.2. At the same time, it may not seem like a significant number, but when you multiply it by the number of employees, you will see the problem.
This is why it is essential to implement an employee attendance improvement plan. This article will discuss how you can better track and manage employee attendance.
Why do you need an employee attendance improvement plan?
Before the why let’s understand an employee attendance improvement plan.
An employee attendance improvement plan is the formal document that a supervisor or manager sends to an employee to address their excessive absenteeism. When an employee is regularly taking offs or is absent without notification, managers can first schedule a face-to-face meeting with them to discuss the underlying issue. Suppose the meeting doesn’t solve the issue. In that case, you can share the employee attendance improvement plan to help workers understand the problem and the consequences of their continued absence.
Good employee attendance is essential to ensure productivity is maintained in the company. Also, for customer-facing jobs, proper employee attendance means consistent service with minimal waiting time. It improves the customer experience and boosts brand loyalty. Your organization needs a comprehensive employee attendance improvement plan to prevent distracting other employees, burdening the management with overtime costs, and diminishing team morale.
If your company struggles with employee absenteeism, here are some tips for creating an employee attendance improvement plan.
Six tips for creating an employee attendance improvement plan
1. Create a clear and easy-to-understand employee attendance policy
An attendance policy is a must for every organization. Even it is a legal requirement to inform the workers about their attendance rights so they can feel more in control of how they manage their work and personal lives. Before creating an employee attendance improvement plan, you have to provide them with an attendance policy so they can be held responsible if they are not following the instructions.
Managers should take the time to create an attendance policy that’s transparent and employee-friendly. We assume you already have an attendance policy in place; all it might need are a few amendments to include the following.
- From the beginning, ensure that company’s expectations about employee attendance are mentioned.
- Encourage feedback from workers about the policy, and if there are some suggestions, be open to incorporating them into the policy for the betterment of the workers.
- Be transparent about the consequences workers might face if they don’t meet the expectations.
- It is also necessary to be precise with the language. The attendance policy must be easy to understand, and there should not be any ambiguity that might confuse the workers. Try to be specific and detailed about the policy guidelines. The employee attendance improvement plan template will help to reach out to employees.
2. Track the attendance of employees
Suppose an employee is sick; how easy is it for them to request a leave? Or, how easily can you track the no-shows if there are absences? To ensure that employees can stick with the attendance policy guidelines, facilitate the easy request, approval, and tracking of employee absences. For this purpose, invest in quality employee time and attendance management software like Truein.
Truein is a cloud-based, AI-powered face recognition attendance system that offers total employee time and attendance tracking features a company requires. Employees can quickly request information about absences through the Truein app on their smartphones. Managers and supervisors are instantly notified about the request. Not every time do you need to give a worker the employee attendance improvement plan if they do not show up for work. Tracking their absences keeps you in the loop and informed about their leave. You have the opportunity to arrange for a replacement. Truein tracks the attendance of employees in real time and can produce insights that can help you decide on whether a worker should be given the employee attendance improvement plan or not.
3. Identify the causes of absence
Poor attendance is not always due to unfriendly work culture or lack of worker discipline but can be an indicator or a more significant problem. You must identify the cause of absence. Usually, it’s an injury or illness which cannot be controlled, but if the reasons are one of the following, you need to provide a solution:
- A conflict between workers and supervisors can result in absenteeism. If it happens frequently, the company’s bottom line is badly impacted. Managers need to take action to identify and resolve conflicts proactively.
- Issues with work itself at times can result in employee absences. For instance, an unbalanced workload or unrealistic deadlines can push workers into a corner. It affects their mental well-being. Lack of training can also be a reason for poor productivity at work.
- Personal issues and family commitments can also result in absences.
All these issues must be resolved at a personal level. Ensure you do not initiate disciplinary action against employees before understanding why for attendance issues. It might be the worker is protected under the FMLA or ADA law. It is your responsibility to understand the problems and help workers get back on track.
4. Explain what will happen if employees take unplanned leaves
Workers are less likely to take unplanned leaves if they know the company’s stance on such absences. It would help if you elaborated on the consequences and the actions that can be taken against employees who frequently take unplanned leaves. There should be complete transparency on how and what disciplinary measures will be taken. This will ensure that employees are aware of the actions that can be taken against their behavior of frequent absences.
5. Train managers on how to deal with absenteeism
Managers and supervisors must be trained on how to deal with absenteeism properly. There is nothing wrong with enforcing the employee attendance improvement plan, but they must show compassion and empathy. Clear communication with absent employees, asking for their well-being and informing them about the impact of their absence on other coworkers and the overall work is a better way to take the initiative.
Train managers how to personally reach out to unscheduled absentees to enquire about the circumstances. This shows workers that the supervisors and managers care about their well-being and allows them to discuss the effect of their unscheduled absence. Such an approach will encourage employees to take responsibility for their work presence.
Supervisors are the first point of contact and workers reach out to them when they need to leave. Initially, supervisors should accept their requests without asking too many questions if the reasons for the absence are understood. However, they should feel free to initiate employee attendance improvement plan sharing if they see a pattern developing and employees start abusing the policy.
6. Allow a flexible work schedule
The work schedule must not result in a compromise between work and life balance. Your employees will appreciate a flexible work schedule that can accommodate their requirements, such as doctor appointments, attending sick children, or jury duty. A flexible work schedule includes the option to work from home, telecommute, share jobs, or ability to swap shifts with a coworker.
While a flexible work schedule may not be feasible for all companies, if it is an option for your organization, you should implement flexibility as it can improve attendance and engagement of employees. When you give freedom to employees about when and where they are from, you can eliminate call-offs due to unexpected personal issues.
Like standard work schedules, all the policies regarding flexible schedules should be appropriately documented and mentioned in the attendance policy so that management can track and monitor such programs.
An employment attendance improvement plan is a powerful tool, but it should be implemented only when required. If you can implement the tips we have shared in this guide, you will be able to better communicate with your workers and understand the reason behind their absence. This will provide an opportunity to improve attendance proactively, and you are less likely to have to give workers the employee attendance improvement plan to follow.