Given how easy it is to feign an illness – there are even whole guides dedicated to it – it’s no surprise that attendance can slump. Sadly, absent employees can be costly for businesses in terms of lost productivity, and there’s little they can do to recoup that.
Plus, if your employees keep getting away with it, it becomes a chronic infection that has effects across the whole company. How do you raise this issue with the employee in question? How do you ensure their work is completed? It’s an HR nightmare.
And then, there are the employees that are always late, or simply don’t show up. In all these cases, it’s important to assess the employee’s reasoning. Why don’t they want to come to work? Is there something you can do to make them feel more welcome?
Well, luckily, yes. There are dozens of things you can do. I’m not saying you should cater to the whims of an injury-faker, but perhaps a slight improvement of your company can work wonders.
Have a clear absence registration policy in place
Without one, it’s far too easy for people to just have time off. If you don’t have a proper procedure set up, how is that absence able to be accounted for? Perhaps it’s too easy for your staff to stay at home without anyone noticing.
So, whether it’s a basic three-step procedure or an online login form, ensure you have something. You could insist that employees contact you before 8am, or produce a doctor’s note.
You could request that emails be sent directly to a specific person in your company, who can assign work to someone else. If you implement these simple changes, it becomes harder for staff to just not show up. If they are faking an illness, the prospect of having to jump through all these hoops may prove too troublesome.
Give them paid leave
There aren’t many rewards that are more enticing to employees than paid leave. Obviously, getting paid for doing absolutely nothing is everyone’s dream, and with good reason.
Paid leave can make your employees attend more because if they know it’s coming, it’s like the light at the end of the tunnel. You can create and manage your attendance policy – perhaps with the help of paid time off software (PTO software) – so you know who’s owed what.
If staff know they are getting paid leave, perhaps they’ll be more likely to improve their attendance the whole year round! Think of it as the carrot on the stick. If your employees have perfect attendance, dictated by your PTO software, then you can reward them with paid time off.
You could even make these rewards sales-based. The more your staff sell, the more time they get. Everybody wins!
Improve the work environment
A workplace that’s cold, boring and uninviting can be an incredibly annoying prospect on a Monday morning. You aren’t doing yourself, or your staff, any favors by letting those standards slip.
Even basic changes can have drastic effects. It won’t take a complete overhaul to make your office a place worth visiting. There are plenty of things you could try:
- Buying a proper coffee/espresso machine, and plenty of biscuits!
- Adding a snooker table/table football to the office common room
- Free on-site parking
- Let staff customize their own workspaces
- Add a splash of paint – certain colors are more appealing than others
- Increase the lunch break by ten minutes
- Change the work schedule – allow evening work, or early morning work
Of course, not every change is likely to deliver full effectiveness, but you get the gist. A better workplace equals a more enticing workplace, one staff are more likely to attend.
Help staff with problems
Perhaps certain employees keep having time off because of an underlying problem. These are hard to tackle, and even harder to solve. Maybe they have severe stress, depression or anxiety, which could be brought on by anything.
Maybe they split with a partner, or have landed themselves in financial trouble. Whatever the issue is, it can’t hurt to take them to one side and talk it out. Maybe you’ll be able to help in some way.
It’s important to remember that, in this case, the staff member truly does want to work hard for you. It’s just difficult to do so when there are many underlying problems, particularly at home. Even a small gesture, like letting them leave 15 minutes early, can work wonders for morale.
By doing everything in your power to help them out, they’ll be more invested in you and your company. If they feel like they’re going to meet their friends at work, it’ll make those home problems easier to cope with.
Do you have any employee attendance tips? Let us know in the comments below!