How Do You Handle Attendance Problems?

Are you challenged with attendance problems?

It is Thursday afternoon and I receive a call from an Employer.  My employee came in late and I know it.  (Me) How are you so sure? (ER) I saw them walk in past  their scheduled time.  (Me) Did they punch in?  (ER) I will have to check. (Me) So what did you find out? (ER) The employee did not punch in at all.  (Me) This is a very typical situation.

Here is how you should handle the attendance problem:

  1. Set clear expectations about your attendance policy.
  2. Enforce the rules you have setup consistently.
  3. At the first sign of a problem, take the employee aside and address the problem.  Place a note in the employees file stating that you talked to them.
  4. Counsel the employee on the attendance policy.  Refer to your Employee Handbook or to their signature of acceptance of this policy.
  5. Explain that the problem creates more work for their fellow employees.  This is not fair because the other employees are not being paid to do your job.
  6. Use the policy as a guideline for progressive discipline.  Write up a warning and counsel the employee again on corrective action.  Place the warning in the employees file.  Be sure to tell them you are doing this.
  7. If the behavior continues with no improvement terminate the employee.  Be sure to document the reason as a violation of your company attendance policy.

(ER) This sounds like a pretty good process.  (Me) As long as you follow it consistently it should improve attendance.  Employees will start hearing about the progressive discipline and will make more of an effort to arrive on time.

You will have the documentation necessary to terminate and win an unemployment arbitration.

(ER) This sounds like some very good advice.  I will try it right now. (Me) if you have any problems, please let me know so I may counsel your further.

As an HR Consultant, I am often asked for advice/counsel.  Sharing this information with you should save a call.  How may I assist you further?

Leave a Comment