How To Deal with Attendance Problems in the Workplace

A successful business is made up of competent and present employees. In order to run a tight ship, employees have to be in attendance and not habitually absent from work. Absenteeism causes a lot of problems in the workplace including a decrease in productivity as well as low morale.

Business owners and managers may encounter one or two (hopefully not more) people who seem to take it upon themselves to spend more time on leave rather than in the office. If you have attendance problems in your workplace, here are some suggestions on how to deal with them.

  1. Review the employee attendance report. This report is made up of the list of employees’ names, department and job title, the dates when they were not at work and the reasons for being absent. Establish when you want to review this report. It can be every two weeks, every month or every quarter.
  2. Check for red flags in the report. Take note of which employees have been incurring unusually high number of absences.
  3. Find out the reason or reasons for the absences. This may include planned vacation leaves, sick leaves or emergency leaves. Not all absences are unwarranted after all.
  4. Establish a clear attendance policy. If your company already has one, make sure all your employees know the policies. Send out a memo regarding the policy as a reminder. It should be clear how the employees can avail of their leaves and what they need to do in case the absence is due to sickness. Employees who go one sick leave for a specified number of days should provide a doctor’s certification. Enforce the policy when necessary.
  5. Verify the authenticity of the doctor’s certification. In case you have formed a level of distrust against a person who is perpetually on sick leave, call the doctor who gives your employee the medical certificate. Verify if the employee indeed has seen the doctor and the excuse if legitimate. Make sure to explain to the doctor why you are asking because he may feel that he is betraying the patient’s trust.
  6. Speak to the employee’s supervisor and co-workers. They may be able to shed light as to the reasons why the particular employee is always absent. If the employee has clear work-related behavioral problems, you will need the guidance of Human Resources to resolve these. Providing the employee with technical and interpersonal training may be of help depending on the reasons for his absenteeism.
  7. Speak to the employee. Find out if his attendance problems are due to problems in the office that he is avoiding. It can be possible that there is an issue in the workplace that you are not privy to. Try to solve this problem with the help of Human Resources. If necessary, hire an outside consultant to diagnose and cure the problem.

Employees that are always at work may develop feelings of resentment and low morale towards management and the person or persons with unexcused absences. An employee’s constant absenteeism can be curbed if caught early. Reminders about being on time and at work should be part of employee communication. Work with supervisors or managers of employees who are excessively absent for no good reason. Seek advice from Human Resources on how to deal with this problem.


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