There are few people who haven’t rocked up late to work, blaming it on the buses, trains, their children or even their parents. Occasional lateness is not an issue but repeat lateness is and absence even more so. Read on for some top tips on reducing your overall absence costs.
So why is managing absence so important
As well as the obvious issues i.e. cost, absence levels can also be a major contributor to conflict or lack of employee engagement. Absence is not a stand-alone issue and can be likened to being back at school when a sore stomach was invented to get us out of maths tests, dull school trips, and worse. Adults are still using illness as an excuse to avoid something – except that now their actions affect team-mates, bosses, clients and the bottom line.
Recording absence definitely works
Pulling someone up for lateness or absence every so often doesn’t work. They will be a bit more diligent and careful until the next time.
You should be recording attendance and time-keeping. Regardless of working time lost due to lateness, consider how employees will feel watching a colleague stroll in late or slope off early on a regular basis. Line managers need to have procedures in place – and they need to know what level of lateness or absence tips the balance from ‘OK to overlook’ to ‘needs to be dealt with’. You need to make it very clear that continuing lateness or absence will have implications, whether financial or disciplinary.
HR180 are here to help with recording absence and on working with you to identify the point when absence does lapse into the ‘needs to be dealt with category’. If workers know that absence will be noticed and investigated, they are less likely to take time off work without proper cause.
Line managers timing their employees’ arrival in the morning can only result in a lack of trust, but they should still be aware of who is arriving when.
What if it’s genuine?
If someone is persistently late, before they face any degree of disciplinary action, you need to discover the reasons. It may be that they have genuine problems whether outside work, such as childcare issues, or at work, such as bullying, inability to cope with a heavy workload or difficulties with a colleague.
If the problems are genuine, you will have to address them, it may be a case of allowing the employee some flexibility with start and finish times. You may decide to sanction some degree of home-working. You may even have to talk to a team-mate about their own behaviour.
It is in every employer’s interest to have happy and productive employees, and knowing why they aren’t coming to work is a very good start.
What are the biggest challenges?
What should you avoid?
If you only do 5 things:
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