How To Deal with Employees that Don't Come to Work

Employees are assets. But employees who have attendance issues, most especially those that habitually don’t come to work, are more of a liability. Instead of helping in the production, these kinds of employees are contributing to production delays, which adversely affect your potential profit. Absenteeism is a serious concern, and you have to deal with it before it becomes a culture in your company. To help you, here are some tips.

  1. Confront the employees concerned. Individually talk to the employees who are habitually absent and discuss how their absences are causing a problem in your production. Cite a specific incidence. For instance, say how a reassignment of tasks caused trouble. Or how an unfinished job infuriated a client. Tell your employees that you expect them to have improved attendance within a time-frame, say a month. If they don’t improve, you need to take a more drastic measure to correct the problem. Consider this as your verbal warning.
  2. Issue a memo. If there are no improvements in their attendance after the verbal warning, issue a memo. This is a written warning that lists the absences and details your expectations. If after a month, there is no obvious improvement in the attendance pattern of the employees, you can consider termination.
  3. Find out the reasons behind the absences. While some employees have legitimate reasons, like a chronic illness or caring for a sick child, others just don’t feel like coming to work. Of course, they won’t directly tell you that, so it helps to do some investigation. You can, for instance, review the employee information sheets and see if there are hints on the employees’ habitual absences. For instance, an employee might be a single parent of three young kids who needs to be at home for some reason. Or, an employee might be a recovering alcoholic who might be experiencing a relapse. To find more information, call the employees’ residence and see if you can talk to a spouse, partner, or parent who can clue you in on your employees’ personal issues that might have an effect on their attendance.
  4. Strengthen your attendance policy. The employees might be habitually absent because your attendance policy is somewhat lenient, encouraging them to not show up for work whenever they want. Therefore, it pays to review your attendance policy and see the weak points. Modify your policy as you deem fit. Introduce new rules. And trash everything that doesn’t work. However, be mindful of the general welfare of the employees, making sure that the policy is considerate and reasonable. You want to deal with the problematic employees but not at the expense of the good-standing staff.

Remember to be always fair. In other words, treat your habitually absent employees, regardless of their work performance, with the same measure of authority. Just because one is making more sales than others doesn’t mean he is exempt from the attendance policy. Because he thinks he has your favor, that employee will try to have his way in everything, which will set a ground for disputes in the workplace. Keep in mind that playing favorites is never beneficial to an organization.


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